Monday, June 29, 2015

Sowers, Reapers and Nourishers

What missionaries do on p-days!!

     Where do I begin...? This week has been one of the longest/most exhausting weeks of my whole mission. The whole time I have been in Taunton sister Dimond and I have been teaching like crazy. We didn’t ever have time to find because we were literally running from one teach to another...and it was like that up until this week. Then all of a sudden this week we only had one investigator and we don't really know this week consisted of finding, finding, and more finding.
         Here is the quote that applies to this week:
"Some are sowers, some are reapers, some are nourishers, but the harvest is his"
         Now I would go on to preach and explain how it applies...but neither sister Dimond or I can really remember what it means to that won't work. Hahahaha
         But in all truth, this week has been "hell" as they say here cause that isn't a swear word here :) but somehow we have both made it out alive. It has been really hot here and we have been walking and teaching people on the street all day everyday, which let me tell you is physically, emotionally, and mentally draining. Try talking to like 80 people everyday and having to listen super closely to them and discern their needs...needless to say every night I come home just exhausted. But we keep telling ourselves if we can make it through today, then we can make it through tomorrow.
         So this week I didn't have too much going on to talk about because we are finding all the this email is going to be stories of weird people I have met on the street lately, get ready these are good and some are slightly creepy too...

-We met a guy who said he was Jesus and there was 5 Jesus’s on this earth and he has a microchip in his head and God is controlling him...he was super creepy. Definitely had an evil spirit around him.

-We were walking home the other night and there were 3 guys across the street from us, we didn't want them to think we were following them, cause we weren't we were just going home, so we decided to take a detour and go another way. Well we got walking and we realized that the way we were going was leading us away from home so we then had to turn around so they really thought we were following them. Next thing we know they are crossing the street towards us with this smirk on their face and trying to talk to us, so we turn super missionary on them and do the classic "what brings you happiness in life?" Approach then just went off about God and Christ and how much happiness they bring us...the looks on their faces was hilarious. Hahahah #sistermissionaryprobs

-We get whistled at all the time which is one of the most annoying things on this planet. I mean we aren't dogs. We just about turned around and punched some guys in the face yesterday cause we were just so sick of it.

-We had someone tell us last night that he is older and wiser then us and doesn't need Jesus In his life so we talked about the power and authority that we have.

-We were supposed to walk a guy to church today cause he told us to, so we went to his house and his girlfriend answered the door and told us about how it is so wrong to send two girls to pick someone up and "walk them to church"...awkward

-There is a kebab shop here (that is a food place) and all the guys there love us, we wave to them every time we go by. That is a happy part of our day.

         The list could seriously go on and on. Taunton is a strange place...lots and lots of weird people. But it is teaching me to love everyone as a child of God. Definitely teaching me not to judge people, which is a huge lesson I need to learn. Oh and we are teaching this guy who is a self referral. He is super intellectual and I may have told you about him before. Pretty much he wants to be a "liberal Mormon" or "new order Mormon". Which pretty much means he doesn't want to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Well he is so smart and reads so much, today after church I went up to him just to talk and here are a few of the topics he brought up: Kolob, the Holy Ghost being material or immaterial, where the Holy Ghost lives, garments, the sacrament and the symbolism of it, if all Mormons have to be republicans, and about how there are many gods and not just one. My head hurt so bad after that conversation...and we have that like everyday with him. Oh and add a whole bunch of stuff he reads about Joseph smith online that he believes is fact about his life...that really shouldn't matter. We love him, he is just someone who I have never had to teach before. But he is set to get baptized in 2 weeks so that is exciting!
         All in all I am just so tired. This work is so exhausting and it never seems like we can quite catch up with everything. There is always something we have to do and we never have enough time. It is so hard, but I guess one day I can sleep again...
         This week I read the article “All is Well” in the Ensign this month. You should all read it, it is really good and helped me a lot this week. Although I am not a pioneer there are still so many lessons I can learn from them, especially being a missionary. My favorite quote from the article that sums up the lessons I have learned this week:
         "From the pioneers we can learn to have faith and trust in God. We can learn to have compassion for others. We can learn that work and industry bless us not only temporally but also spiritually. We can learn that happiness is available to us no matter our circumstances."
         I love you all family! Thank you for all the love and support you constantly give me, I couldn't do this without you. Have a fun Fourth of July.  Enjoy the fireworks for me. 

Love you!
Sister Robison xxx

Monday, June 22, 2015

Another Week In Taunton


 I am glad that you are all alive and safe...not gonna lie I was really worried about you guys at Lake Powell one night...but I prayed super hard and I knew you would be safe.  Sometimes I would get really sad that I wasn't there with you...but then I remembered that I am in England so who needs Lake Powell?  I can go to Lake Powell my whole life...but only once can I serve the Lord.
         This week was full of ups and downs.  As you saw we were able to go to the temple this week again and that was one of the best days of my whole mission, if not the best day of my whole mission.  Here is the story:
         So you may remember Chris Mitchell from Brighton, he would help me teach all the time there and became one of my really good friends.  Saying goodbye to him was one of the hardest goodbyes I had in Brighton.  Well Sister Dimond is one of the sisters who taught and baptized Chris a year ago, he was actually her first baptism.  So he decided he was going to go through the temple on June 20 like 6 months when I heard that I was being transferred to Taunton with Sister Dimond he literally shouted for joy...he leaped up and over his joke.  But the only roadblock was that the day he was going through was 3 days after transfers so we weren't sure if we would still be together, and the rule is only the missionaries who baptize the member can be there for the temple.  So Chris prayed all last transfer that we would stay together as well as Sister Dimond and I, and prayers are answered.  We had a hard time finding a lift to go up to the temple and we weren't sure if we would be able to go, but everything worked out and we found a member to take us up.  It was such a surreal moment to be sitting in the temple with all the members from Brighton that I had grown to love so much.  Seriously sitting in the chapel before the session made me realize how much I loved all those people. And then sitting in the Celestial room with all of them was one of the most spiritual moments of my life.  The spirit I felt this time in the temple was unlike anything else.  It was such a happy moment for me.  I was able to see Elder and Sister Dean, Lewis, Chris, Bishop Mitchell, and so many others who I love so much.  We were in the Celestial room for almost 2 hours just taking it all in.  It was so amazing and I am so blessed that I was able to go.  It meant a lot for Chris as well.  Wow, it was just such a good day, one I will always remember. 

         This week we also had Zone Training up in Bristol.  Sister Dimond and I were asked to give a presentation on extending baptismal dates early and retaining them...cause I guess we are good at that or we spent a lot of time preparing for that the early half of this week.  We gave our presentation and everyone in the zone keeps calling us telling us all these miracles they are seeing from applying what we talked is weird.  But our presentation went really good.  And I just have to say, I love the Bristol Zone so much.  I am really good friends with a lot of the missionaries in this zone and it makes everything so much better!  We had to say goodbye to President and Sister Millar that day as well...that was really sad.  I just barely felt like I had gained a relationship with them and felt like I could be normal around them, and now they are leaving.  It was hard and will be hard to see them leave.  We meet the new president next Thursday so that is exciting...

         Here is a miracle story (sorry if I told you last week...)
So there is this less active couple in the ward who we are best friends with, literally.  They are really close to our age so we spend P-days and stuff with them.  He came home from his mission early for different reasons and they have been married for almost a year.  Well we have become really good friends with them and they used to never let missionaries share a spiritual thought or anything related to church with them in their home for different reasons, but Sister Dimond and I have just been super bold and pushed our way in.  We found out this week that neither of them have read their scriptures for 3 years, since he came home from his mission.  So we made a deal with them that if they started the Book of Mormon and texted us every day what they learned, then we would do the same thing.  So we are doing that now and they are reading everyday.  They are coming to church again as well, even teaching gospel principle.  I know I tell you all the time, but READING THE BOOK OF MORMON IS SO ESSENTIAL.  Please read the Book Of Mormon, you guys should start a group message in the family and share what you learn really helps. 
         I don't really remember much of what happened this week besides that...I will send a lot of pictures today, sorry I never send any anymore, we email on our ipads and I have no way to get them on my ipad...but I am on a computer now so you will get some. 
Sister Robison xxx 

Guess Where I Went This Week????

Monday, June 15, 2015

Keeping Up With The Taunton Sisters

     Wow family it sounds like you have had a pretty bad week...Satan obviously hates for us to be on the lake. Sounds a lot like our McCall trip...but I will continue to pray for your safety. I am just so glad that no one has gotten hurt from all of this. I love you guys so much.
         Well let me just tell you this week was crazy! It was such a messed up week with transfers being this week and a baptism and Elder Holland. We pretty much only had 2 days to work...but we still taught 23 We don't really know...all we know is that the Lord is helping us so much in this work. We don't think we are doing enough and always feel like we could be doing so much more. But then we always get complimented so much from our zone leaders and district leader. I guess we just don't see that we are working harder than most missionaries...but we are seeing so many miracles from it :)
         So let's start with our investigator that is getting baptized. This week was so hard from him. Satan is real people, especially right before someone is going to be baptized. And He experienced that this week. He has had to overcome somethings in his life and he has had a huge desire to change his life and be better. We saw him everyday this week and Monday and Tuesday he was fine and progressing towards baptism. Of course he had his doubts and could see Satan trying to discourage him, but he was so determined. Wednesday we met with him before we went out for p-day and he was so down and said he wasn't going to be baptized and didn't want to have a baptismal date. We reviewed the baptismal interview questions and found out he really hadn't sincerely prayed to know if what we had taught him was true. PRAYER IS ESSENTIAL TO CONVERSION! So we basically we're super bold with him (something both sister Dimond and I are super good at, we don't beat around the bush at all) and told him we know he will be baptized Saturday and we were going to keep his date. Pretty bold right? Telling someone he will be baptized...taking agency away? Maybe...but sometimes you have to remind and make people realize that they have a testimony. So that night we called him and he sounded a lot better about everything. He said that he knew it was Satan getting into his head and he needed to be baptized. He prayed that night and the next morning was his baptismal interview. We saw him before the interview and he said he would be baptized. And he was so prepared. He passed his interview and the next stop was baptism! He was really scared and nervous for his baptism but all went well. He was baptized Saturday and it was so good. The spirit was so strong and he loved it. Yesterday he received the Holy Ghost and was ordained to be a priest. Seriously I felt the spirit so much this weekend. He is going to do amazing things in the church. He will have lots of opposition, but in the blessing he received when he received the priesthood said he would bring many people into the church and have lots of opposition. But he will be able to make it through. He is the best :)

         Oh and our other recent convert received the priesthood yesterday as well! I love seeing people grow in the gospel, it is so amazing.
         Now to the adventure of getting to elder Holland...Thursday after the baptismal interview we had to leave to drive for 1 hour up to Bristol. The mission had hired a coach to take the 3 western zones up to the conference, so they picked our zone up I'm Bristol. Then we had to drive for 4 hours to Poole to pick up the other 2 zones. Then it was another 4 hours to the temple where we spent the night. We didn't get to the temple until like 11, it was such a long day! But it was so fun. 1/3 of the mission was on this coach so I got to know so many missionaries and for the first time I actually feel like I have friendships outside my district. It was literally a party. There are so many cool missionaries here and it was just fun to get to know everyone.
         So Friday morning we were told the bus would leave at 8:15 so we could make it for the conference at 10. But because of laws here the bus driver had to leave an hour the traffic was worse...and we were on the bus for 3 hours. So we missed half of the conference by the time we got there. We didn't get to shake his hand :( which was really sad...but we got there right when he started to speak and man his talk was SO good. Elder Holland is a boss. He spoke for 1.5 hours and basically was super bold and powerful. I don't know if any of you have ever heard him speak of his mission at all, but his mission was the best time of his life and he has so much passion about it and how it changed his life forever. Hearing him speak about his mission and how not a day goes by that he doesn't reflect back to his mission really motivated me to want to enjoy my time here more, because this is the only time I have to do this.  He spoke a lot about not going less active after our missions. He basically said how dare you do that and that he will haunt us if we do. He also said that missionaries always say that "when they get back to real life..." Referring to when they get home...and he basically rebuked us and said this is real life, right here, right now. This is the closest thing we will ever get to real life. That was an eye opener for me. Then he talked about how we are Gods investigator and our only duty on our mission is to bring one soul to Christ...that one soul being us. And every other person we bring while we are is just a blessing. He also said boldly (haha classic elder Holland...) that we don't use our power and authority, that we are not bold. He said we need to have confidence and not be scared because we have the most authority on this whole island and we need to use it. Overall it was just such a good conference. I am sad we didn't get to shake his hand...but at the same time not because he talked about how he interviews everyone and stares into our souls when he shakes our hands...that is scary.
         I am just so blessed to be serving here in the England London South mission. This mission has a great legacy of missionaries and I want to do all I can to keep that legacy going. This truly is the best thing I could be doing with my life right now. As Elder Holland said, every good thing and every blessing that I will ever receive will be because of my mission. What a privilege this work is. We are working hand in hand with the apostles to share glad tidings of great joy and there is nothing better :)
         Family I love you all so much! I hope you have a great week in Lake Powell...I miss Lake Powell. But I wouldn't trade this for anything :)

Sister Robison xxx

Monday, June 8, 2015

Lessons Learned On A Mission

         So this transfer was a 5 week transfer, so this week is moves and Sister Dimond and I are staying together another transfer :)  We are so happy, we have so much planned this next transfer it is going to be so much fun!  Mark is getting baptized this Saturday and he is so ready.  It is so cute everyday we ask him how he is feeling, and last week he said he was about 50% ready, and everyday it keeps going up.  Today he told us he was 90% sure he would be baptized.  So we are really looking forward to that.  And we are trying to get Elder Holland to baptize him...long story short, Elder Holland is in the UK right now and Mark LOVES him so much.  So we are doing all we can and playing with the connections we have to get Elder Holland here.  Unrealistic?  yes...but what could be the worst that could happen?  Elder Holland baptizes him! haha so we will see how that goes...
         This week, and really this whole transfer has been a huge spiritual learning experience for me.  I have learned so much for when I come home and how I need to live my life after my mission.  We did the spiritual thought at ward council this week and rebuked the ward in a loving way.  We talked about how it is the wards responsibility to retain these people we are baptizing and related it to the story of Jesus and the man with Palsy who was lifted through the roof to be healed.  It takes so much more than just the missionaries to reactive/keep active someone.  There is a great talk called Reaching out in Unity that talks about this.  That spiritual thought really helped the ward and we have more members offering to help, so that is nice.    
         When we visit members we are following up with how their Book of Mormon reading is going and how their prayers are, and so many aren't reading the Book of Mormon.  Let me tell you right now, reading the Book of Mormon is the most important thing you could do in the church.  I didn't quite understand this before my mission, but now I do.  Family, if you aren't reading the Book of Mormon start now.  You won't progress or ever learn unless you are reading the Book of Mormon DAILY! 
         Speaking of the Book of Mormon, wow yesterday was so cool!  So like I said Elder Holland is in the UK, so we had a huge stake conference broadcast yesterday that he spoke at.  The whole conference was so good and I learned so much, but Elder Hollands talk was maybe one of the most powerful talks I have ever heard.  He is so much different to hear talk outside of General Conference.  His whole talk was all about the Book of Mormon.  If you remember the talk Safety for the Soul where he bore that powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon, that is basically what this was, but so much better.  He talked about how people always ask him when the 'Last Day' is going to be, referring to when the Savior will come.  And he just laughed and said we are the Church of Jesus Christ of LATTER DAY SAINTS.  We are in the Last days! The book of mormon is the sign that we are in the last days.  He then talked a lot about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the church.  He talked about how Moroni appearing to Joseph Smith was the first thing that happened after the first vision, and nothing with the restoration of the church happened until the Book of Mormon was translated fully.  Do you think it is important to read the Book of Mormon?  He said that we need to have a testimony of the Book of Mormon first and foremost, that we won't understand anything else or progress until we read and pray about the Book of Mormon.  I wish I could have recorded his talk or written it all down because it was one of the best talks I have ever heard and reaffirmed my testimony of the Book of Mormon.  Sorry for being so preachy, but it was just so good!  We had 2 investigators at this conference with us, and one of them pretty much dropped us after it cause it was too bold for him.  So that was sad, but this investigator realized that the book of mormon is either all the way true or all the way false, and he couldn't accept it as true because of all the historical facts.  So sad :(  But after the conference we went up to Mark and were talking to him about his baptism and asked him who he wants to baptize him and he said Elder that is where that idea came from.  
         I will stop being preachy now, it just seems like I have hit that point on my mission when I am learning so many life lessons and growing so much.  Oh and one last one, I realized this week how important it is to marry a member of the church.  We are working with some less actives who have spouses outside the church, and it is so hard on them.  So that is another lesson that I learned this week.  
         I can't really remember what happened this week...all I know is that another week has come and gone and all of a sudden I am 7 months into my mission.  So crazy!  I had to say goodbye to yet another missionary yesterday, our District Leader goes home this week and his companion is getting transferred as well.  So that was sad.  Goodbyes as missionaries are sad and awkward...
         But this week is going to be so exciting.  We have a jam packed schedule today and tomorrow, teaching like crazy.  Then Wednesday is P-day.  Thursday we get to go up to London to stay in a Hotel over night (what what! who gets to do that as missionaries? haha) because Friday we have a mission conference with Elder Holland at the Hyde Park Chapel.  Then Saturday we have Marks Baptism.  So I think my week beats your week in Lake Powell ;) haha, I miss Lake Powell. 
         Well Family...sorry this letter is really long and preachy, I know you said you didn't want preachy letters...but oh well.  I love you all so much and am so grateful for everything you have done for me.  My mission is the best thing I have ever done.  It is hard and I am so exhausted, but somehow I have strength to make it through everyday.  
         President Millar leaves on June 30 so that is when President Gubler comes.  It will be an exciting/sad transition.  

Sister Robison xxx 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Temple, Interviews, Baptism, Stonehenge and So Much More....


Hey Family! 
         This week was crazy!  Baptism weeks are always so stressful on missions, it is ridiculous.  We have to make sure the investigator is still on track, organize everything for the baptism and so much more.  So much stress...but C GOT BAPTIZED! It is one of the best things to be a missionary and see someone enter the waters of baptism.  The past few days the same thing has stood out to me in church and study, and that is that what I am doing goes far further than just my mission, I am changing peoples lives forever and one day in 20+ years I will be able to see my converts kids go on missions.  The joy that I have had as I have realized that is unreal.  It is so fun to serve here because practically the whole ward, well everyone in England really, is converts, so I get to hear all about their conversion stories.  Just thinking about C, and T, and T telling people their conversion stories makes me so happy.  Being a missionary is great. 
         So last week we went to Bath for p-day.  But Bath is so pretty!  Definitely somewhere I want to go back and visit.  It was so convenient cause we just emailed on the train up for one hour, and on the train back, then had like 6 hours there.  Sister Dimond and I just kind of wandered around the city.  We saw the place the filmed Les Mis I believe, when Javier commits suicide...I will send a pic.  We ended up in some art museum as well...then we got gelato.  I felt like a normal person again, it was weird but fun.  Then we met up with the Elders in our district and zone Leaders and went to the Roman Baths...which was cool.  It is the only Hot Spring in the UK and the romans like built a temple around it or something...I cant remember exactly what it was...but it was fun. 

Pulteny Bridge-I think this is where they filmed Les Mis

My District & Zone Leaders at the Roman Baths

Our Roman Friends

         Tuesday was really good for sister Dimond and I.  We have so many people to teach that we get so stressed all the time.  We don't even have time to contact at all during the day, which is hard because we are supposed to talk to everyone in our paths.  So we get super stressed cause we think we don't have good enough numbers, but we don't have enough time to do any finding.  But Tuesday it turned out that all our appointments cancelled, so we just went out and did finding all day in Bridgwater.  It was so nice.  We did street contacting and knocked some doors.  Finding is a great stress reliever for me because you can forget about yourself and just go help people be happy.
         Wednesday we spent most of the day planning for our temple trip the next day and the baptism.  We went to the Temple on Thursday with some investigators, recent converts, and less actives.  The ward rented a mini bus, and a member of the bishopric drove for us.  It is a 3.5 hour drive, so it was quite a long day.  We left at 6:30.  It was so nice to be back on the temple grounds. So that was a fun day, all of our investigators there had a really good time as well.  The temple is amazing, if you ever want someone to feel the spirit, take them to the temple ground and teach about Joseph Smith...miracles will happen!
The Group at the Temple

     We got back into Taunton around 5 Thursday night from the temple just in time for President Millar to get there for interviews.  This was my final (and only 3rd) interview with him, so that was really sad.  I really love President and Sister Millar, they are such great people.  He also told us that everyone is going to see Elder Holland next week at the Hyde Park Chapel, so that is super exciting! 
         Friday once again was a day of planning and getting the baptism sorted.  I am telling you baptisms are super stressful. But Saturday was the baptism.  We taught him one night this week and we had to be outside, but it was really cold and we were all dying.  We showed him the bible video of Christ’s Baptism and afterwards he just said "it isn't cold anymore" it was so cute haha.  He was really against baptism when I got here and didn't recognize the spirit at all, but then all of a sudden one day everything just clicked and ever since then he has been so happy, a totally different person.  We bought him a nice quad for a baptism present and that made him so happy.

         So there ya go, there was my week.  It was a really stressful week and Sister Dimond and I overcame a lot of weaknesses.  We have truly come to know and understand repentance and what it means to repent this week.  The gospel is amazing.  Repentance is real and works for any situation.  I was reading the lyrics to Saviour Redeemer of My Soul yesterday in sacrament meeting and read the scripture at the bottem D&C 95:1-2 (I believe) and that scripture is all about how the Lord rebukes and chastens the ones he loves.  If I have learned one thing on my mission, it is that the Lord gives us weaknesses so that we can turn to him.  They aren't a bad thing Ether 12:27.
         Sounds like your summer is off to a great start!  When do you go on all your holidays? 
         Yes I got the journal mum, thank you :)  and I sent a package home today for someone, it is a surprise who...but it should be there in like 1.5 weeks hopefully.
         Well family, I love you all so much.  Sorry if my email is too long...I just get typing and can't stop.  I cannot believe it is June feels like just yesterday it was January.  Where is time going?!?!

Have a great week!
Sister Robison xxx

oh and I saw Stonehenge this really isn't that great, it just looks like a bunch of rocks thrown in the middle of a field