Monday, April 27, 2015

6 Months...What?!

     Wow I can't believe this might be my last week in Brighton.  It is so sad to think about leaving.  Yesterday after church we sat and "mingled” with ward members for an hour, like we usually do, but yesterday I really realized how much I love these people here.  It is crazy how 6 months ago I didn't know any of these people but now they are my family.  I feel so close to them and I love and appreciate all of them so much.  It will definitely be hard next Sunday if I have to leave.  One member even told me he read my blog about how I decided to go on a mission and I have inspired him to serve a mission...pretty cool.  Brighton is seriously the best.  It is also the oldest church unit, I heard that this week so that was pretty cool.  Also other cool facts about Brighton, Elder Holland was zone leader over Brighton.   Speaking of Elder Holland, he is supposedly coming to England in June to do mission and stake conferences, so that will be super exciting.  I love mission conferences, the spirit there is amazing and the things we learn is so great.  The things I have learned on my mission about the church and how it is run is so cool I have learned so much about ward councils and working with ward members, as well as stake positions and church wide positions.  The church is amazing.  
            I think that I will probably leave Brighton though...the whole time I have been here I haven't been able to figure out exactly why I needed to be in this area of England at this time, but a few days ago everything seemed to be standing out to me for why I needed to be here and who I needed to be here for.  A few of those people are the less active gentlemen we started teaching the other week, he is so amazing and is basically the most active member in the whole church now.  He deleted everything off of his ipad this week except for gospel stuff and set his screen saver as a picture of Christ.  He came to church yesterday and was so happy!  If only every member could be like that...I have learned a lot from him and his excitement of the gospel.  Another person is T.  It has been a while since I have talked about T to you guys.  But he is doing really good, we don't see him much cause he works a lot, but every time we do see him it makes me so happy.  I feel like he is one of my best friends and a huge reason I needed to be here.  It will be hard to say goodbye to him...but I think once we have Ipads we will be facebook missionaries so we can stay in contact with our converts, that will be nice.  Those two among lots of others are huge reasons I needed to be here at this time.  Brighton feels more like home to me than home ever did it seems.  I don't know what it is about this place, but I feel so comfortable and confident here, but I guess that is why transfers have to happen so we don't get too comfortable with our situation.  I will hopefully find out before I skype what is going to happen.  We have ipad training on Wednesday which will be fun/long.  It is from 9:30 to 4:30...that is a long meeting. It will be a huge help to the work here, I am so excited!  
            This week was difficult for Sister Ghalkhani and I. Our comp unity has been off for the longest time so we finally sat down and did a 2 hour comp inventory, something we do every week, and talked about everything.  This transfer has been hard on both of us and we both know why.  We have learned so much from each other and really progressed as missionaries, but our relationship isn't too great.  With past companions I have felt such a strong life long relationship with them but with her I don't feel that way.  We are going to try and fix that this week, but it has been hard.
            As far as baptismal dates...we haven't been able to get a hold of our two investigators this week...which is really sad.  We don't know what happened to them...but we have a new baptismal date.  He is from Zimbabwe and is super cool.  He is really interested and has learned a lot already.  Miracles are happening here in Brighton!
            This week we spent a lot of time trying to help a family we teach.  She was able to stop smoking for 5 days, which is huge for her cause she hasn't ever made it past 3 days.  She has been smoking since she was 8 so it is very hard for her to give up.  She came to church last Sunday and I know that is why she was able to make it that far.  In district meeting a few weeks ago one of our Zone Leaders talked about CPR, and how CPR is how you save a life.  CPR stands for Church attendance, Pray, and Read the BoM.  I really liked that analogy and it is so applicable to us.  I have been able to see that on my mission.  
            Well family I love you all.  I can't believe that I am 6 months in already...I am scared the next year is going to fly by.  But I am so grateful for everything I have learned.  Yesterday was a year since I received the prompting to serve a mission when we were in Honduras.  I can't believe how much my life has changed in just one short year.  I am so grateful for the Savior and everything he has done for me.  

Love you!
Sister Robisonxxx 

Last pday we went to a place called Devils Dyke where you are supposed to have an awesome view of all of Brighton...but of course we are in England so we couldn't see anything..but it was still cool.  It felt like we were in Lord of the Rings or something! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Tree of Life

Hello family! 
         How are you all doing?  I enjoyed your email this week, sounds like you guys are doing great!  That is exciting you signed up for Lotoja again and your back on your bike mom.  Road biking is really big over here, every time I see someone biking it reminds me of you guys.  Yesterday was the Brighton Marathon, which is a pretty big deal here, and it started right outside our flat, so during our "Sacred Time"(study time) we got to hear all the announcements and watch them start.  It was just like LOTOJA, it was fun.  When I get home I am going to train and come back and run it....we will see if that happens haha.
         Well this week was hard on us.  We didn't have any member present lessons, which is when you teach an investigator with a member present, and we didn't have anyone at sacrament meeting or any new investigators.  So numbers wise it was a terrible week, but despite all that we kept on going.  I was never down or mad about that all week cause I knew that we were working diligently and doing our best.  It is hard to account for basically nothing in the week, but what I have come to learn is that it isn't about the numbers.  The Lord knows the intents of our heart and knows if we are giving it our all.  We were able to keep the gospel discussions up, we had 53 gospel discussions this week and quite a few return appointments from them.  This week we are going to see investigators start to progress, I am really excited.  Sister Ghalkhani and I have definitely learned a lot from being together.  We have both improved our finding skills dramatically and have become better missionaries.  We are struggling to really have fun and laugh and be happy, but I am working on that.  I read the talk Finding Joy in the Journey by President Monson yesterday and it was a great reminder of being happy in my circumstances and not wishing things would be different.  It is really hard to not think about when I get home sometimes, but I am trying my best to really enjoy the time here, especially in Brighton.  Transfers are on May 6, so I may only have 3 weeks here, most likely.  It is crazy to think that in a few weeks I will be 1/3 done with my mission.  It is going too fast.  It’s scary.  But I am really striving to enjoy the stress and madness and everything about being a missionary. 
         This week I had one of the harderst moments of my whole mission and maybe even my whole life.  We were out in a place called Shoram street contacting before a DA and we have been really diligent in talking to everyone who is in our path.  So I went up and started talking to this guy.  I didn't realize it but he was standing right outside a pub and was really drunk.  He started to make fun of us and get mad at us for talking to him about what we believe in.  He was standing right outside a big window to the pub and knocked on the window and all I heard was everyone in the pub bust up laughing at us.  He was walking behind us and doing a your crazy sign.  It was just like the tree of life.  I felt like the people in the pub were the great and spacious building and all I could do was remember who I am and what I stand for.  It was terrible.  We walked away and I tried to hold back my tears, but I couldn't.  It was so hard on me and was really the first time I have felt like I have stood alone in the world.  But it made me even prouder of who I am and more grateful that I have the gospel in my life.  
         We also got to do service this week for the first time on my whole mission!  It is great being in a ward with elders, but one of the downfalls of it is that no one ever asks the sisters to do service, but finally we just told an older lady that we wanted to do service and to not have the elders do it.  So we went and painted a wall in her garden, it was so fun and we are going back this week.  The weather has gotten so nice here!  It is sunny and warm, so that made it really nice.  
         On Saturday we were out street contacting and we were standing on the corner looking through our bags or something and I was just saying Hi to everyone that walked past, so I said hi to this man and he kept walking, but then he turned around and asked if that was a Book of Mormon I had in my hand.  I said yes and he went on to say that he had the Aaronic Priesthood and used to be a member.  He was so nice to us and explained to us his conversion story and why he doesn't come to church anymore.  But at the end he told us we would have to come visit him, so we are going by this week and he asked us to bring a B.o.M as well.  That was a huge miracle and tender mercy to me.  He was so nice and we know that he will return to church, we just have to get him to have some friends in the ward.  Saturday night it was Elder Smiths, one of the Chinese Elders, birthdays so to celebrate we went to the American Diner and had nice big American Hamburgers.  That was fun to be with all the missionaries.  
         I did make sticky fingers for District Meeting this week.  They have the hot sauce here.  I made that with some ranch, all the Elders were freaking out haha.  It was fun.  
         Life is good here in Brighton.  I got really sad the other night on our bus ride home thinking that my time here is winding down.  I am excited to see more of England, but Brighton will always be special to me.  The members here are amazing.  The missionaries here are amazing.  And the atmosphere here is amazing.  I just love it.  
         I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!  Thanks for all the prayers and love you give me.  

Love you!

Sister Robison xxx 
The Sisters in my Zone 

Sister Ghalkani and I at an American Diner!

Monday, April 6, 2015

What a Good Week!

Hello family,
         I am alive don't worry.  I am sure you probably freak out when you don't get an email from me at 5 AM haha.  But we went to the temple today, that is why I am late emailing.  It is bank holiday, what that is I don't know, but the temple was opened so my whole zone went and did a session together.  I have been so blessed to have the temple in my zone, it truly is such a blessing.  And the weather is so nice now!  Yesterday it was like a whole new world, Easter came and all of a sudden it is so nice here!  The sun was shining, and there are flowers and life is just great.  It was/is always nice to be in the temple with so many missionaries.  Sitting in the Celestial Room with all the missionaries and people who I have come to love is one of my favorite experiences on my whole mission.  It just reminds me what heaven will be like one day :)
         Well this week was great.  I was able to watch all the sessions of conference except for the last one.  They showed it at the chapel and we had some people there so we were able to watch.  What I got from conference:  When I get home I need to get married. haha jk, but it seemed like everyone was talking about families.  I did learn a lot and I really enjoyed conference as a missionary.  It was nice to watch it with no distractions.  No phone or anything, being at the chapel in my Sunday clothes really helped me concentrate.  I think my favorite talk was Elder Oaks, but there were lots of good ones. 
         This week I have worked harder than I have my whole mission pretty sure.  I may have told you, but we have been told that in order to baptize monthly we need to have 10 meaningful gospel discussions a day.  I have never hit that my whole mission, that is really hard to achieve.  But guess what, this week we did it!  Well almost, we didn't quite get 70, but we had 56!  That is a huge deal for me.  I had never even hit 30 my whole mission, so that will tell you how hard we worked.  I was so tired every night and so exhausted, but I have also been a lot happier this week.  Just goes to show true happiness comes from serving the Lord. 
         This week we also had Zone Training.  That was fun.  Elder Idso was there so it was fun to see him. I walked in and he asked me if I got a package from the YW, and I hadn't, I just got it today, so I was like no.  I was really sad I didn't get one, but now I have it so I am happy.  Thanks for the new skirt and candy, it was fun to walk in the mission office today and see that I had a package I wasn't expecting!  I love post. 
         Our recent convert T is doing a lot better.  We took him to the temple for a fireside this week which was really good.  He came to general conference and is getting more involved with everything.  Prayers are answered. 
         Sorry I don't have much time today cause we still have to go do our grocery shopping.  But I love you all so much and I am so glad you had a good spring break!  Know that I miss you, but I am focused out here, not on home anymore.  To be honest I was focused on home and when I would be going home a lot at the beginning of my mission, but the past is the past.  I loved what Bednar (I think it was him) said in conference about how God doesn't care about who you were, just who you are becoming.  That is going to be my motto for my mission
Peace and Blessings fam
Love you!
Sister Robison xxx