Monday, July 27, 2015

Follow The Leader

Hello family!
         Where do I even begin? So I am a trainer as you know and it has been amazing so far. Training is hard, you have to rely on the spirit so much and be exactly obedient and just be such a good example at all times, it is stressful, but I am loving it!
         The beginning of last week was crazy saying goodbye to everyone with Sister Dimond and getting her off to Jersey. Monday night we didn't go to bed until super super late...I only got like 2 hours of sleep because we were getting picked up at 6am to drive to the temple.
         It was a long day Tuesday just walking around the temple talking to all the missionaries there and saying goodbye to people. Missions are the best because you make such good friendships with everyone, seriously I love everyone here! Sister Dimond flew off to Jersey Tuesday night and I won't see her for 9 months :( so sad. The 3 months I spent with her were some of the best 3 months of my life, we had so much fun! Man I miss her...but I'll see her soon enough.

Last picture with my district 

         Wednesday was a long, long day of driving. I spent the night with the VC sisters and we got picked up at 6 AM again. But GUESS WHAT! I GOT TO GO BACK TO BRIGHTON!!!! We were picked up in the huge mission van which means we spent all day driving picking up missionaries and our first stop was BRIGHTON. I was almost in tears, I was so happy to be back in that town I love even if it was only for a few minutes. So that was pretty great. Then we spent the next 4 hours driving all over the mission...I went to 5 of the 9 zones in the mission that was terrible. But we finally got to Staines where transfer meeting is and I had training from the APs for how to train. Man this is a big responsibility. But it is so worth it. President Gubler talked to us for a few minutes as well and told us how we needs to "feed these sheep" that they are precious and vulnerable right now and this is our chance to take them and lead them and teach them. It felt like we sat forever at Staines waiting to get our companions. After 4 hours there they finally announced it! I was dying of nerves the whole day! But my companion is Sister Bills and she is from Orem Utah. She is so cute and reminds me so much of how I was when I first came out. I like to think that I am helping her and I can relate to her...but who knows. She is awesome though and came so prepared. Thursday we went out and we did all aspects of he work, we street contacted, knocked, taught, everything we did she did awesome at! She seriously blew me away, she is so brave, a lot braver than I ever was and still am! I have learned so much from her in the past few days, she is amazing. But life is good as a trainer, I am really realizing how much I have grown on my mission.

Sister Bills and I

         This morning I showed her a video called missionary work and the atonement that talks about why missions are so hard and how missionaries come to really understand the atonement on their mission. And let me tell you, I have such a strong testimony of the atonement now! I didn't realize how much I have grown, but I have grown so much. I now understand the atonement and what it actually means for me personally, I have come to understand the priesthood and why it is important, I have come to understand the fall of Adam and Eve and how important it is to gods plan for me. Sorry I wanted to type out this huge thing of how the atonement has helped me in my mission...but the words aren't coming. Just know that I love Jesus Christ so much and I now know a little bit of the pain he had to go through and what it truly means to be a missionary.
         We saw a big miracle the other day, we were walking down the street talking to everyone and we stopped this lady pushing a baby carrier and we started talking to her, she didn't have time, but I just asked if we could come by and talk to her about Jesus sometime and she said yes.  To be honest I was a bit doubtful cause people say yes all the time and then flog...but she was serious and we called her that night and she let us come over the next day! She is from Romania and she has a family and they are just so prepared! They could totally be baptized in a few weeks...but they are moving back to Romania next week. It is so sad. But hey I guess you never know what could happen. Pray she stays in England!
         Well to sum it all up, I feel very unworthy to be training. It is the most important calling you could have as a missionary and I still don't quite know why God trusts me with this, but it is good. Sitting in church yesterday was hard for me cause we only had 1 investigator there and some members of the ward made some comments to me about is hard cause I am the one running this area right now, everything falls back to me which is really stressful. But I am learning and growing each and everyday. I don't think I have ever prayed more sincerely or followed the promptings of the spirit more than right now in my life. I don't think I have ever been this humble either, training makes you be humble, and we all know I need that, so this is good.
         I love you all so so much, thanks for all the love and support. Send me the family slideshow if you can, I want to see it!
Love you!

Sister Robison xxx

Monday, July 20, 2015

Transfer Week

Hey Mates!
         Once again, it is me the best Sister Robison here to give her weekly report of what she has done and how she is doing.

         Here is a scripture that describes what I am learning right now:

Proverbs 3: 5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

         So as you know it is transfers this week. Literally the whole mission was so anxious for this transfer because it is the first one that President Gubler has done and no one knew when information would be sent out and when calls would be made. So this whole week I was a nervous wreck...and turns out I had reason to be. Late Friday night literally right before bed I got a call from President Gubler asking me if I would train next transfer........what?!?!?! How the heck am I supposed to train? I have no clue what I am doing! But you know you can always rely on the spirit, and the spirit has been telling me for the past month that I am going to be training. So I said yes...and I am so overwhelmed now. I feel so inadequate and feel like I don't know anything. Obviously I know this is all just satan getting to my head, I know I am perfectly capable of doing this through, and only through, the Lords help. I know and feel that this is exactly what I need at this time. I feel like I have just hit a wall lately with my progression as a missionary and individual, like I couldn't progress any more unless I was asked to do something like this. I was writing in my journal the night I found out (you would be so proud I have written everyday of my mission!) and while I was writing all of my weaknesses and doubts came flooding to my mind, and you know what? I know I am far from perfect or the person I need to be to train, but what I do know is that the Lord trusts me and like Nephi said "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord gives NO commandment unto the children save he shall prepare a way for them to accomplish the things which he hath commanded."  I have lacked faith a lot lately, and this is exactly what I need to regain that. I know that this will be an experience that stretches me and tests me a lot, but like I said, I know that as I trust in the Lord and turn to him more than I have my whole mission that I will be able to accomplish the thing which the Lord commands. So start praying that I can have patience and the ability to be a good example to my companion :) it is so overwhelming thinking about having to teach somebody everything...being with older missionaries you forget all the lingo you learn as a missionary and you forget that sometimes you have to make specific lesson plans instead of just saying "we are teaching restoration and extending a baptismal date for..."  I am too comfortable right now, and life isn't about comfort, so I guess here we go! On to the next adventure of my mission...

         I am so sad to see Sister Dimond leave. As I was sitting in sacrament meeting I was reflecting back on our time together, and we really were such a good companionship. I love her so much and I know we will be friends for life...we have been through so much together and we have so many memories. Man I am going to miss her. She is going to Jersey for her last 2 transfers. So I really won't see her for 9 months...mission goodbyes are terrible!  I was so blessed to be her companion; I have learned so much from her and sometimes felt like she was training me again. I just love her so much.

         So there you go...I will go and pick up my greenie on Wednesday and I have no clue who she is, nor does President. He interviews all of them when they first get to the chapel and then decides who is going to train who, so the unknown is killing me. It will be good though.

         Oh and if you are wondering, we did not have a baptism this week :( he was not ready, but I truly believe he will be baptized in the next month. Continue to pray for him please.

         Well sorry family, I really can't remember what happened this week cause my mind is going a thousand miles per hour trying to figure out how I am going to train...and we are really short on time today cause we have to go see everyone for Sister Dimond to say goodbye too. This ward loves her so much, she served here for 7.5 months so it is a hard goodbye.

         Thanks for all your love and support. I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week! Pray for me extra hard on Wednesday...I am scared...


Sister Robison

Monday, July 13, 2015

First Interview With President Gubler

           Well hello feels like just a few minutes ago I was typing my last email. Literally the weeks are going to fast and I am starting to freak out that I am almost half way done. I haven't achieved or become even half the person I know I need to be...I guess I better get to work over the next 9 months. It scares me to think about coming home...I am still as clueless as I was when I left about what I am going to do with my life. But I guess I can think about that in 8 months. Right now I just need to focus on the Lord.
            Well this week I can't even remember what happened. It definitely wasn't as crazy as last week...I am glad everyone is getting a good laugh from my polish water experience haha. I still laugh every time I think of it.
            Sister Dimond was really sick this week so we spent about half the week in the flat, which was weird. I was amazed with how much I was actually able to get done spending 2 whole days in the flat. I wanted to just sleep so bad, but I knew I was still a missionary and couldn't do that. So I deep cleaned our flat and organized a bunch of stuff, it felt so nice. Having a clean flat is nice and it makes us feel less stressed. Sister Dimond has been really faint lately, we went running one morning and she almost passed out like 6 times and ever since then she has been super weak. It is really scary. We have gotten some good rebukes from our leaders that we need to slow down and take care of our selves more, because we sometimes forget to do that. Like we forget to take breaks most days, we don't eat properly, and we don't get adequate rest. Well it came back to bite us in the bum. Even yesterday a member of the stake presidency spoke at sacrament meeting and said something along the line of if I want the spirit with me and if I want to fulfill my calling then I need to take care of myself. So that was a good rebuke and we are going to slow down a lot, or else we will both die.
            This week I want to share with you some things I have learned spiritually. On Saturday I had my first interview with president Gubler, and it was the best interview I have had on my mission so far. I can definitely feel the love of the savior coming from him, he is very in tune with the spirit and said exactly what I needed to hear.
            Some of the things he talked to me about:

-He asked if I love my mission. And I do, but not always. He then went on to say that if I don't love my mission then I won't love heaven. What our missions are are what heaven is going to be like. Now think about that...those of you who have been on a mission know what I am talking about. It is a big love/hate relationship. So that made me reevaluate my attitude.

-He talked to me a lot about comparing myself to others. This is the first thing he spoke to me about and this proved to me that he is called of God, because I didn't even say anything about my struggles. This is something I have struggled with my whole mission, not feeling like I am good enough because I look at others and everything they have/are doing and see everything I have done and feel bad. Well he asked me if I had felt the spirit that day. I said yes, because I had a lot. He then asked me what it means to me when I feel the spirit and I decided it meant a few things to me 1) that God loves me 2) that what I am learning is true and 3) that God is pleased with what I am doing and is helping me on the path. I thought of 1&2 immediately and he said that is right, Joseph smith taught this principle. But then I couldn't figure out a third...when he told me that I started to tear up. That is what I needed to hear, that what I am doing is pleasing to God. He is an inspired man.

-He then spoke to me about recognizing /following the promptings of the spirit. He read Moroni 7 with me and really focused on the phrase of serving God. If a thought would help me to serve God then it is of God, but if it says to do something to not serve God it is of the devil. Pretty simple, but it helped a lot because sometimes I struggle with knowing if it was from me or from the spirit. I have been taught about that lots, but it is always good to have a reminder.
            Overall I loved my interview with him. He is an amazing mission president and has very high hopes and faith for this mission. He believes we can have this mission be like how it was in the early days of the church, baptizing hundreds each month instead of hundreds each year. And I believe that as well, but it will take hard work and dedication and faith. He has a mission plan which we learned about yesterday which I absolutely love. He isn't numbers focused at all, which is so nice because that is something I have hated on my mission, people competing with numbers. He is focused on personal conversion more than anything and is there to do everything possible to help us become converted. As part of this we as a mission are reading the Book of Mormon  in 2 months, that is 12 pages a day. It is going be hard, but I have already seen the blessings of it. We are focusing on just 3 things as we read 1) who am I? 2 ) who is He? 3) as a disciple of Jesus Christ I will...? I love these questions so much and encourage each of you to focus on these as well while you are reading. Doing this will help us all become personally converted for life to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
            As you saw, yesterday Chris Mitchell surprised me and sister Dimond by showing up in Taunton for church. I was so confused when I saw him walk by the door...then I was even more confused when Ceri Kruger (the huge family from Brighton who I secretly belong to) walked into relief society. Turns out Chris was down in our area because he took a girl on a date down here Saturday night and wanted to surprise us at church. And the Krugers are on holiday and wanted to surprise us as well. What are the chances? Some of my favorite people from Brighton showing up the same day? It made me so happy, I pray everyday that I can go back to Brighton at the end of my mission. I also pray I can serve in London...cause I just belong in the city.

The Krugers

Chris Mitchell with Sister Dimond and I

            As you know transfers are coming up next week and I honestly have no clue what is going to happen. They have to close down 18 areas in the next 2 transfers. There used to be almost 300 missionaries in this mission and the church is now cutting it down to about 170. So there are lots of areas being shut and missionaries being widely distributed which is sad cause that means I will probably never serve in a ward with other missionaries again.  Times are changing. I was here for the tail end of the wave of missionaries and now I am seeing the down side to it :) for instance, there are 40 missionaries going home in the next 3 months and only about 4 coming that we know of. It is super sad.
            In other news...we ha e a baptism scheduled for Friday.  We had the best teach with him last night. We were super bold with him and addressed a lot of his concerns. We came to the conclusion that he hasn't sincerely prayed, so we knelt right then and there with him and he prayed simply to know if the Book of Mormon was true. We sat in silence for a few minutes and then he said that it felt right, that he needed to go ahead on this path and be baptized Friday. Seeing the spirit soften people's hearts is the coolest thing ever. Seriously some of the best experiences on my mission have been seeing people change. So pray for him that he will make it to Friday :)

I went on an exchange with Sister Mataia in Bristol this week.  It was fun!

            And that's about it for this week. I can't believe this is the last week of the transfer...lots of changes happening in a week. An AP goes home and 5 of the 18 zone leaders go home. This mission is changing.
           Have a fun week in Washington and send me pics from one direction. I am super sad I'm not there with you. Love you all! 
Love your favorite sister

Sister Robison xxx

Monday, July 6, 2015

Life Lessons Learned This Week

         This may just be the best email you will ever get from are going to laugh so hard.  This week the question we keep asking ourselves is "why do bad things happen to good people?" Cause everything bad has happened...and it would happen to we go
         So let's start at Monday. We had such a fun p day, that was slightly apostate cause we aren't allowed to do zone p days, but we honestly had no clue. It was so fun being with so many missionaries; I have made some great friends in this zone the past few weeks. So that was fun.
         Then that night we got back to Taunton and all our appointments flogged so we went finding for 3 hours. We were walking down a street and we just see a group of super drunk ladies, keep in mind this is like 7 pm and they are wasted...and there was one freaking out. So we walk by and 2 of them like corner us and are yelling at us telling us if we are Jesus people then we need to heal their friend who was possessed. Then one goes on to tell us she is a Jehova Witness and her blessing didn't work so we needed to try...we were so lost and didn't know what to do...this girl was just totally wasted. We end up just talking to these two ladies about God and how God can help us but we have our agency still. We also did some hard core rebuking about how they need to be smart with their actions. So that was interesting. The "possessed" girl ended up throwing up on the street and she was fine.

Tuesday:  It was the hottest day the UK has had for 6 years on Tuesday and I literally thought I was going to die. I remember sitting on the bus and I physically could not talk to anyone because I was so hot. It was miserable, but I survived. Our investigator tried dropping us Tuesday night as well...hahaha that is funny. You can't drop us that easily. He has been talking to missionaries on FB and had a conversation that he thought made up his mind about everything. We read this conversation and he told them that one day the church will conform to his we told him he is the apostasy. His teaches are always fun and test us a lot. We have been reading the Joseph Smith pamphlet with him and the spirit has been there so strong lately, he is totally getting baptized :) then Tuesday night we got back to our flat around 9:20 and we were so happy and proud cause we made it home early. We stopped at our post box to check to see if we have post and sister Dimond just turns to me and was like I don't have the keys. We rumble through all our bags only to find we really don't have them, we had lost them. Great. So we make a few calls to ward members to find where our spare key was...and of course we don't have one. We live on the 1st floor (2nd floor in America) and we left a window open that was big enough for us to climb in if we had a we almost had to do that. But a ward member came and picked us up and drove us around to back track.  We went to a park we had been teaching at just before, said a prayer, and no joke 15 seconds later we found the keys. Prayer works people. And while we were locked out the only food we had was cashews and Nutella, so that tasted good :)

Wednesday:  So on Wednesday we kind of had a freak out day. We had been finding a lot this week again and our zone leaders called us and told us that they feel that right now the Lord is trying to tell us we need to work with the ward members, because this ward seems to be struggling. We have felt this too, like a lot, but kind of pushed it off because we didn't know what to do about it, but now we finally accepted it. 
         We literally feel like we have so much responsibility right now we just wanted to sit and cry we were so stressed. So we planned for a few hours that day for how we can help the ward and it was actually really good. We also had ward council that night...ward council is always interesting. I really want to go to one in Utah to see if it is anything like ward council here.

Thursday:  We met President and Sister Gubler!!! We had zone conference in Poole and we had to take the train (why I don't know cause the elders in my district have a car...but whatever...). So the elders in Bristol were nice enough to think of us and arrange for us all to take the train together so we didn't have to travel for 4 hours by ourselves. So we left the flat at 8 and travelled to Poole with the Bristol elders. It was about a 5 hour journey with all the stops. It was super fun though cause these elders are some that were there Monday and we are all BFFs.
         It was so weird/sad to not see President and Sister Millar at zone conference. I almost started crying when President and Sister Gubler came in cause I was so sad President Millar was gone...but President and Sister Gubler and really cool and will be great. He has such a strong spirit around him and you can really feel love radiating from him. He gave a very good presentation as well...I will talk about that later. But we were there from 2-4 then had to catch a train home for another 5 hours. It was the longest day of traveling ever. We didn't get home until 10, but it was such a fun day. It is always fun to go on adventures like that.

Trip to Poole

Friday:  This is the day you want to pay attention too...cause I had Vodka...yes I just said we were visiting some former investigators who were taught about a year ago. The wife is Polish. Well we got there and he offered us a drink. The last time we went he just gave us sparking water. Well this time he was joking about giving us alcohol and we said no we just wanted water...he pulls out a jug from the fridge and asks, "polish water?" And we asked if it was just water and he said we said sure. Well sister Dimond and I both take a sip and it burns our throats and we just turn to each other and we knew something wasn't right. So we ask if it was vodka (we both just really felt that is what it was) and the wife just kind of laughs and says no it is water with some minerals in it. So we being the polite missionaries we are force ourselves to drink it all. The next day we were with a recent convert, and her friends and we joke that we think we may have had vodka the day before. We told them we had polish water and they all bust up laughing..,turns out polish water isn't water...but it is vodka. We told the elders in our district about it too,  they were dying. So family and friends, NEVER DRINK POLISH WATER!!! And it didn't even taste was nasty! The weird thing is though that it didn't even affect either of us...the Lord seriously protected us so much, cause talking to a recent convert about it she said the amount we had was basically a double shot...crazy mission stories. Pray that I will still make it into heaven...

Saturday:  Happy Fourth of July...this was the weirdest Fourth of July of my whole life. It started really good with 2 really good teaches, and then everything went crazy. We were going out to Bridgwater by train to teach some people, so we bought our tickets and I wasn't even thinking and didn’t look at the train time tables and just went to the platform we usually go to for the Bridgwater train, and there was a train there that we usually jump on, so we got on it. Well it starts going the opposite way from where we want. Long story short, we end up on Exeter, which isn't even in our zone. Hahahah. Happy Fourth of July to we were stuck there for 1 hour waiting for a train. We finally got back to Taunton though. It was just hilarious, cause literally everything bad was happening to us. We were super blessed though because usually they check your tickets on the train and if you get caught with the wrong ticket you have to pay a huge fine, well neither train ride they checked. Tender mercies. But it doesn't end there. Like I said we were with a recent convert and her friends, who are all my age. We are teaching her friends. They tell us there is a Fourth of July celebration in bridgy they want to take us we go walk through it on the way to where we were going to teach them. It was pretty much a street fair. It seems like everyone in Bridgwater is always we had some interesting conversations with some people. But then we were just finishing our teach with her friends when 2 totally drunk guys come up and just sit by us. They see we are church people and one guy who was there tells us he is gay and starts drilling me with questions about gay marriage and how God views him. He actually had a lot of good questions and I really wish he wasn't drunk so we could have answered his questions.

Sunday:  Like I told you a few weeks ago, our washer has been broken ever since I got here. So we have had to hand wash all our clothes, or just wear dirty clothes, which is such a pain! There have been way too many mornings when I wake up and realize I forgot to wash garments, so I have to wash them in the morning and wear them wet all day...super uncomfortable. Well our ward mission leader found out about this and he told us to bring all our wash to the chapel and we could take it to his home and do our washing while we had tea. He jokingly said to pack it all on our suitcase and bring it...but we actually had to do that. We packed all our clothes and sheets and towels in our suitcases and rolled them 3 miles down main roads to church. It was so stupid. The things you do on your mission. But we have clean clothes now, so I am super grateful :)
         So there you have it, there is the craziest week I have had on my mission so far. Literally, if this were to happen to someone on their mission, it would be sister Dimond and I. Our comp unity is crazy good. We are like the same person. It is fun. And we reckon we will stay together another transfer, maybe for 2 more until she goes home.
         So now the spiritual side of this email (sorry it is super long) but while at zone conference President Gubler talked about 3 questions. He asked us 1) who we are 2) who the Savior is and 3) why we are here. He had asked us to study our patriarchal blessing before hand, and it was so cool. There is one line in my blessing that has never made sense to me, and he literally said exactly what this line says and explained it. He talked about how we have been prepared since the pre earth life to come down and be missionaries that we are the noble and great ones it talks about in Moses and Abraham. It was very inspiring. But what stood out to me the most of everything he spoke about was the why we are here section. He talked about how we are here ultimately because we love God. And because we love God we will do everything in our power to spread his gospel. He also talked about grace and how grace carries us. I never fully understood grace until this week. He talked about those days on our missions where we just don't feel like we can keep going, that those days it is grace that saves us.

23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. 2 Nephi 25: 23

         This scripture describes my whole mission. This whole thing would be impossible if it weren't for the atonement and for the saving power of grace. We have to do ALL WE CAN and then Jesus Christ will help us with the rest. Man the atonement it amazing :)
         That zone conference was so amazing, I felt the spirit super strong and I learned and felt exactly what I needed to at that moment.
         Missions are such a blessing. Looking back at all the lessons I have learned while here I can't imagine going throughout life without these experiences. Even if they are stupid, like don't drink polish water...or how to hand wash clothing. Everything has been what I will need for the future; I know God is preparing me all the time for my future.
         I love you and hope you have a great week!

Sister Robison xxx

Ps I hope this letter didn't scare you too bad...I promise I am safe...most the time...