Monday, August 31, 2015

A Week of Trying To Put Broken Pieces Back Together

Howdy y'all!
         How you doing? Sorry I am so late emailing this week. Today isn't pday and it is a holiday here so we have been out working, but now I have email time :) so I'm alive and well...
         This week is transfers again...I am half way done training...that is weird. This was probably the fastest transfer of my whole mission and I have probably grown the most as well. So this transfer despite all the really really hard times, I am grateful for it. And Sister Bills and I are staying together, no changes for me. There are 32 missionaries coming into the mission though, so there are lots of other changes and it seems like every missionary is training now!
         This week was another really hard week for me. Dads email came just when I needed it as well, I looked at my iPad Thursday night and saw I had emails and read it and it was exactly what I needed, you are in tune with the spirit Dad and never worry about being preachy, I am a missionary, I live and breath for spiritual stuff.  
         This week was so hard for a few reasons:
 There is a recent convert who was baptized in December and he is a nice older man.  He usually feeds us every time we go there, but this time he wasn't. So we go to his house and he comes out and tries to give us £20 for lunch, myself trying to be the exactly obedient missionary I need to be, kindly refuses it cause we aren't allowed to take money from people, and we try to explain this to him. Well next thing we know he pulls a lighter out of his pocket and starts to set it on fire cause we won't take it, so we try to grab it from him to take it but he won't give it to us, then he ends up ripping it up and throwing it away. We just stood there so confused about what had just happened. We thought all was well, but that night we got a text from him saying he isn't coming back to church because we wouldn't take his we have been talking to our bishop lots about it and now know that if he offers us money we need to take it. So that really took a toll on me thinking that because of me this man wasn't going to come back to church. Exact obedience sometimes doesn't bring blessings I guess...
         Then also another recent convert texted us that same day saying he was getting baptized into the Catholic Church again and didn't want to meet up with us that took a toll on me as well. It seems like literally every recent convert are going less active, and like I said last week, I can't help but think it is my fault.
         So there you go, this week was full of trying to put broken pieces back together. It was really hard on me and there was one day where I mentally and physically just didn't know how I was going to make it through the day cause these things were just weighing on my mind so much. But I made it through and I know it was because Christ was carrying me. That is one thing I love, I can always count on.  Jesus Christ is always there through the hardest times and I am never alone in this no matter how hard it gets.
         We visited a member today and she said something to us as we were walking out the door, she said "remember the story of the man who was asked by the Lord to push the rock, he got frustrated cause the rock wasn't moving, and the Lords response was that he didn't ask him to move the rock, just to push it" this put things into perspective for me cause as you know I am very hard on myself and don't ever feel like I have done enough. But she reminded us that the Lord has asked us to serve, and that is what we are doing. So we are doing enough.
         So in other news...Sister Bills told one of our investigators she liked her pants, pants are not pants here, pants are underwear, so the investigators face was priceless. I promise I am trying to teach her how to be English, but sometimes she just doesn't listen haha. We also have an obsession with McDonalds...we ate there 2 or 3 times this week, so if you notice I'm getting fatter, that's why. We just both love diet coke so much, and that is the best place to get it, so we get food while we are at it :)
         Oh and I almost forgot the best part of the week! So Thursday, the day I just didn't think I could do missionary work and make it through, we got a call from the Bishops wife asking if we wanted to do service that day, and of course we said yes. I love doing service, it mixes things up. So she picked us up in Taunton and we went out to her house and they live out in the countryside. Literally in the middle of nowhere, I love going to their home cause it is so peaceful and quite.  But Sister Tutton took us to her home and guess what the service she had us do was? Cut wood! I felt like I was back home at the cabin! It was honestly heaven for me for those 2 hours. We had to move their piles of wood then the ones we could break (like little sticks to start the fire) we would break and stack for them. It was so fun and I honestly loved every minute of it! God truly does bless us and help us on those hard days.  That was a huge answer to my prayer and really helped me through.

         So there you go, another glorious transfer has come and gone in Taunton England. I can't believe I have been here for 4.5 months. I am excited to see what this next transfer has in store. Sister Bills and I set the goal to baptize 4 people this transfer. Yes it is a high goal, but we have a lot of people that we are starting to work with who we just need to get progressing. I will tell you about some of them next week probably (one of them is a girl who is the daughter of a LA couple who is starting to come back to church, Huge Miracle!). Every transfer I learn so much about myself, and this transfer the thing I learned most was how to rely on the atonement.
         I love you all so much and am so grateful for the love and support you give me. I could not do this without all your prayers, so thank you, and continue to send them my way. Oh and send some letters while your at it :)
Love you!

Sister Robison xxx

Monday, August 24, 2015

Patience and Rain

Hey fam bam,
         How are all of you? How was the first week of school? I can't believe that school has already feels like just yesterday summer started. Now look, I come home before this school year ends...that is scary. I know I have said it before, but time on missions is such a weird thing. I was reading through my journal from the beginning of my
mission the other day and looking at pictures and it literally feels like 2 seconds I was in Brighton, not 6 months. It is all so weird.
         This week I came to the conclusion God is making me learn patience big time right now. This week was really hard for me for a few reasons. I have struggled a lot on my mission with feeling like a bad missionary, as I am sure every missionary does. But in Taunton and Brighton the same thing happened. I came into the areas and they were baptizing like crazy, like almost every month, but once I got there we would baptize the first transfer I was there and they were people who had already been found. Then the rest of my time in the areas the work just doesn't seem to be what it was, we don't baptize and we don't have a lot of people out at church. I know it is the Lords work and will go forward in his time, but I can't help but feel like a bad missionary when every area I go to gets worse. I just don't feel like I am as good as past missionaries and it is hard. This is a huge thing I have had to get over this week, knowing success isn't measured by numbers but your diligence and faith and knowing the Lord knows how hard I work and the intents of my heart. The stress of leading the area and training just really got to me.
         Something that I have learned a lot on my mission is the importance of communication. This has come over time seeing as I am not an open person at all, but I have learned that if you don't communicate how you are really feeling and talk about what is bothering you then it really affects the work, and we saw that this week. As I have said before Sister Bills is very similar to me, so just like I was, she is very closed to sharing feelings, but this week we had a few moments on the street where one of us would just break down because this is so hard. We are really struggling in this area and with other things and it is hard. Communication is key and really helped is this week.
         In relief society this week we read the talk "truly good and without guile" from this conference and it was really good for me. It is all centered on being like Shiblon, one of Almas sons, who didn't really stand out, but he was a diligent faithful follower of Christ. The story of Shiblon is in Alma 38 and he is one of my Book of Mormon heroes. I have learned so much from him and that talk was exactly what I needed, you should all read it :)
         So the beginning of this week was hard, but the end of the week we KILLED IT. Literally, I am so exhausted because of how hard we worked. I went on exchanges this week and we just worked so hard and talked to so many people and all of a sudden we have a ton of people to teach. We even had 3 new people at church this week we met yesterday, which was a big deal for us. On Saturday the zone leaders and sister training leaders all came to Taunton and we did "district finding" (cause we don't really have a district right now...I'll explain later...). We drew with chalk the plan of salvation on the high street and it was so fun to just watch people look at it and answer their questions. It gave us a lot of hope for the area. At the middle of this week we had quite low numbers (not that numbers matter or anything...) but it really got to us. We had only taught 6 lessons and no new investigators by Thursday and usually we are at 12 lessons or so by then. But this weekend like I said we killed it. We ended up teaching in total 26 lessons I think and having 7 new investigators with 4 investigators at church. It was so good for us to see that despite all the hard times this week that the Lord blesses us for our efforts. I am still discouraged about the area and pace of the work, but we have a lot of potential now. The Lord blesses the diligent.
         Other miracle from this week: 3 of the people who came to church we met while doing the chalk finding. They are from Romania and speak very little English. But huge miracle, we had a Romanian move into our ward about 3 months ago, so during Sunday school we taught them the restoration and this member was able to translate for us. When we got to talking about Joseph Smith one of them had watched the Joseph Smith movie on YouTube recently. It was really cool.
         Well that's about it for this week folks. Pray the weather will get better here, it is pouring down rain all week which puts me in a really bad mood as well as everyone else here. I love you all!

Sister Robison xxx

Another District Leader has gone home...Elder Robinson left this week.  It is sad to see missionaries go home!

I love England it is so beautiful. This area reminded me of home.

Walking to Church in the pouring rain, everyday.  This is my life!

Monday, August 17, 2015

I Love Taunton

         Hello again...for like the 30th week in a row haha. Do you still love Mondays? This week the only thing I have to say is I love Taunton. Family, this is a big deal that I am saying this. I never thought I would ever hear myself say that I love Taunton, but it's true, I do. This week I have come to realise how much I especially love the people here. But honestly, the ward members here are feeling like my family and I feel like I am needed here. It is about time I feel this way! There is no better feeling then knowing you are needed somewhere and you are making a difference in the ward. I have realised that serving a mission would be pointless if you didn't absolutely love the areas you serve in and love the time there. Honestly, I think it has just taken me 4 months to get over leaving Brighton...yes I still miss Brighton and will probably always miss it, but I have come to love it here. I have come to realise that I will miss life in Taunton one day so I need to soak up every minute I have here. So happy day, I am happy in "sunny Somerset" as a member calls Taunton. I am praying I stay here until Christmas cause I would LOVE to spend the holidays with the members here :)
         This week Sister Bills and I saw lots of little miracles which really helped us. Miracle stories time! On Thursday Sister Bills and I had a lot of finding time. We have little to no teaching pool right now so we are knocking and street contacting like all day. But Wednesday night we were looking at a list of potentials we could go see and Sister Bills points out one name that stood out to her that she said we should go see. So we plan and go out to contact this person. We knock the door and ask if that person was there, the lady says she lives next door (although we had knocked the right door), so we just say we are sharing a message about Christ and talk to her a bit, and then this lady let us come in! This NEVER happens. This is only the 2nd door I have been invited into my whole mission I think. So we go in and this lady was so kind to us, she was just so happy and friendly, it was a nice change seeing that people here aren't like that. But we share the plan of salvation with her and about half way through she stops us and just says how glad she is that we stopped by because she had been "talking to God" all day with a question and we had answered her question. WOW, the spirit is real and guides us everyday! We are going back to see her again this week. She was so nice and such a miracle!
         Saturday we had lots of knocking time again and we were working in a place we call "Zion" cause it is a nice new housing estate with lots of big houses and families. We had about 2 hours of knocking out there and didn't see a ton of success. One lady let us in (2 in one week, we are so blessed!). But we were walking in between doors and said hi to this guy who passed us on the street and asked him how he was and he just kind of kept walking and said he wasn't having a good day that he had a bad cold. Well about 10 doors down we see him, and the next door we knock was his door. He answers and he was just so nice to us. We got to know him a bit and shared the restoration with him. By the end he just kept saying how badly he wants the conviction and testimony we have about God and Christ. We said a prayer with him before we left and when we said amen we looked at him and he was crying. We know he felt the spirit and that we helped him. It was one of the most bittersweet moments of my mission cause we could tell he was sincerely listening and cared about what we were saying. Sadly he is on holiday now then moving in 2 week (side note, literally every solid person we have met lately is moving! It is so frustrating! We met a girl the other day from Stavanger Norway, that was cool. I wanted to teach her so bad, but she was going back to Norway that day...). But we have faith that this man will call us. We both just saw and envisioned him being baptized :)
         About 5 minutes after talking to that guy we got straight up yelled at and chased out of this neighbourhood. That was fun and I felt like a real missionary :) this Housing estate all had "no uninvited sales person" signs on their homes, and I have always knocked those doors my whole mission and have never had a problem. Well this one lady was livid we were knocking there and yelled at us and said she was calling the police if we didn't leave the estate right now. She was saying how we are "selling religion" and I was just like no, we are sharing a message of happiness...she didn't like that haha. I can now say I have been yelled at on a door step :)

Walking the streets of London!

         This week Sister Bills and I were also able to go to the temple with the ward on a mini bus. Mark went to do baptisms, it was so cool to be there with him! And he loved it :) he is doing so good and just soaking everything up in the church right now! We also took Ben with us again cause he wanted to talk to Elder Pinegar, the VC director who used to be a professor at BYU and who is so knowledgeable. We watched the John Tanner Story movie with him there, and about half way through the spirit brought to my remembrance that I am related to John Tanner. I was almost in tears while watching this movie just amazed at how blessed I am to have the ancestors that I do. Look up the John tanner story movie and read about him if you don't know who he is, he was a very important man in the early church history and we are very blessed to be his ancestors (like blessed in such a way that we have the promise that none of us will ever go hungry because of what he has cool!) but ya, the temple was good :)

         So in summary, life here in Taunton is good :) I love it here and I love the miracles we are seeing. Training is hard, like really hard but I have had so many prayers answered lately, training makes you rely on the spirit and it is a good growing experience.
         I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!

Sister Robison xxx

Playing football with the zone leaders for p-day!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Keeping Up In Taunton

Happy 20th Birthday!!!

       Yes, I’m alive and doing well in Taunton.  Sister Bills and I are literally the same person.  It seriously reminds me of when I was trained because we just have so much fun. I love her.

10 similarities of Sister Bills and I:

1. She LOVES diet coke! Finally I have a companion who loves diet coke as much as me. It makes us happy.

2. Her favorite stores are Gap and JCrew. Hello, sound familiar?
3. The reasons we came on our missions/our worries before our missions are the exact same.
4. We are both super sarcastic.
5. We are both obsessed with Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift.
6. We watch the same tv shows back home
7. We are both love Disneyland. True fact we are planning a trip for when she gets home already.
8.  We are both SUPER awkward...I think I just make all my companions awkward...oops
9. We teach the same way...oh wait I'm training her that's why...
10. We both LOVE and miss Utah...and her mum ordered her a blow dryer off Amazon UK this week...and guess what, it's the same blow dryer I have! Haha

         But in all reality, I am so happy we are set to be together for 2 transfers. I love her and I have learned so much from her.
     So this week was actually really hard for me. Specifically my birthday. I am SO GRATEFUL that I only have one birthday on my mission. As missionaries we aren't supposed to think about ourselves at all, and birthdays are the most selfish days of the whole year. It honestly was the hardest day of my mission so far I think. Cause I wanted to celebrate my bday, but I didn't want attention to be on me.

     So we didn't tell anyone it was my bday so we literally did nothing to celebrate. We didn't even have a cake pan to bake my I didn't even have birthday cake :( but we did treat ourselves to dinner...thanks dad :) and thank you for the presents. The cable for pictures is so helpful and works great. The skirt is super cute, I love it. And the one direction shirt is the best thing I have received my whole mission. I wear it every night and just smile. And thanks for the package Bri, I LOVE those pens and I was just about out of sticky you are inspired ;) and that shirt is super comfy. I love you guys, thanks for sending packages, it helped make it feel like my birthday a bit :)

     We had Zone Conference this week, which once again was AMAZING! I love President Gubler and the way he teaches, this was one of the most spiritual zone conferences I have been to my whole mission. I don't know if I have told you guys or not, but ever since President Gubler has gotten here he has felt it confirmed from the spirit time and time again that we are going to see a 2nd great harvest, or season of miracles in this mission. Baptizing 1000s a year, not just 300. We are going to see miracles as they did in the early days of the church. I honestly feel the spirit so strongly whenever he talks about it and whenever I talk about it, like right now writing this I feel the spirit so much. The scripture he always quotes is Mormon 9: 19-20

19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a
God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say
unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he
ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of
men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the
right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.

         We know this is possible and that the only reason we don't see miracles as they did is because we don't have the faith they did. It is all up to us, and we are going to do it, I know it. We have already seen so many miracles in these past few weeks, amazing things are happening in the ELSM, we just need the faith. So literally every time someone tells us we don't baptize here because it is England or this is a hard mission it makes me so mad, we are PERFECTLY CAPABLE OF BAPTIZING. Who is to say England can't be like South America and Africa and those countries that baptize like crazy? It all comes down to our faith :) and President Eyring visited the mission a few years ago and prophesied of this as just wait and see :)

I was able to see Sister Dimond at Zone Conference this week

      I am truly loving being a missionary and trainer here in Taunton.  I have come to really love the members here. Being a missionary is the best and I kind of hate being over 9 months. It still feels like a dream that I am a missionary...I seriously sometimes just look down at my badge and wonder how I got here. But I am so happy and doing so good :)
          I love you all so much and pray for you each day! Have a great week and remember to read your scriptures :)

Sister Robison xxx 

Monday, August 3, 2015

This Week Is Here? How!

         Wow, This is a week a never thought would come on my mission!  I remember back when I first got my call looking at the calendar and figuring out my hump day and birthday was the same week and it looked like forever away!  But here it is...and it freaks me out.  Honestly the last 9 months have been the best 9 months of my life, I don't know how I survived before my mission...I didn't know anything and I wasn't truly happy.  I am just full of gratitude for the time that I have had to serve the Lord.
         As I read through your emails it seems that you can all recognize how much my mission has impacted my life...but let me just tell you in case you forgot everything I have said over the last 9 months.  

         My testimony of this gospel is so strong now, it is amazing and I know it can carry me through everything.  I truly have a LOVE for the gospel that I have never had before.  Yesterday while doing study with Sister Bills we were reading through a bunch of scriptures we use in lessons and the spirit touched both of our hearts SO strongly and we both just were in awe of how amazing the scriptures are and how true they are.  I got thinking about what my life would be like without the Book of Mormon, and I don't even want to imagine that.  I have come to know my Savior so much over the past 9 months, he truly is my big brother and I know I can turn to him and rely on the Atonement when I can't continue.  No these past 9 months haven't been easy, they have been probably the hardest 9 months of my life, but that is why I am so happy.  I have learned to grow through my trials and trust in the Lord that I can make it through anything he asks me to do.  I am just so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve, I can't say that enough.  And I am so grateful for all of you and your amazing examples to me.  I am so grateful for the upbringing I have had that has led me to see the importance of family life and the gospel.   Life is hard, but through the Atonement you can overcome anything, I can promise you that!  And I really hope these next 9 months don't go as fast as these 9 months have gone...because if so that means I will be home in a blink of an eye...and sorry but I don't want to be home.  Missions are so hard, but I can't think of anything else I want to be doing right now.  They are miserable joy as Aunt Pat says haha. 

         This week Sister Bills and I have been able to increase our faith so much and recognize the Tender Mercies of the Lord.  One of my favorite phrases in the scriptures is 1 Nephi 1:  20  "But behold, I Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." This scripture truly describes my week/mission.  I know that there are tender mercies everyday, but we have to look for them and have faith that we can have them.  Diligence, faith, and obedience are my 3 favorite parts of missionary work.  Being exactly obedient, always diligent, and full of faith you are able to see tender mercies.  This week we have been finding all week again, and we haven't seen too much success from it, but we know that the Lord sees our efforts and is pleased with us and that miracles are coming as we continue to be exactly obedient, diligent, and have faith.  

         One miracle that we did have this week though:
So back in my first transfer with Sister Dimond we met this amazing girl, who is so prepared for the gospel.  We met her at a bus stop where she had been waiting for 2 hours for the bus, only for the bus to come 10 minutes after we got there, obviously a sign from God that she needs the gospel in her life right now.  She has struggled a lot in her life and we know this is the time for her to "Come unto Christ and be perfected in Him".  Well Sister D. and I met with her once, she accepted a baptism date, and then she kept flogging our appointments so we weren't able to see her again.  A few weeks ago we were getting on the bus that we met her on and Sister D turns to me and was like, 'hey wouldn't it be cool if we saw her on this bus?' and guess what, she was on the bus!  Obviously another sign from we talked to her that bus ride and she has been reading the Book of Mormon and wanted to meet with us.  But then we couldn't get a hold of her again.  It made me so sad because I knew she needed the gospel right now.  Well I had been telling Sister Bills all week about her and how badly I wanted to teach her again and I had been praying that we would run into her.  We were sitting on a bus going to Bridgewater (which is a 45 minute bus ride) and guess who got on the bus!  I was in shock when I saw her at the bus stop getting on, truly a miracle!  Well we taught her an awesome lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the bus and extended a baptism date again, and she said yes.  She just kept saying how good and happy she felt every time she was with us.  She is so amazing and we are now preparing her for baptism on August 28, please pray that she will keep her appointments and commit to this, because I know and she knows as well that this is her time given from God to join the church.  Miracles happen if you believe they can.  

         You have been asking how things have changed with a new mission president and also with me being a trainer, and more than anything with both situations my faith has increased.  I love President Gubler SO much, he is such an amazing man and has already helped me so much.  The mission is really focusing on having Faith right now that miracles can and will happen.  You should all read Hebrews 11, it is a great chapter on Faith (another way my life has changed in 9 months, who would have thought I could be quoting scriptures and stuff? haha missionprobs...).  But being a trainer has really made me rely on the Spirit in teaches and I have felt the Spirit more this week in every aspect of the work then possibly my whole mission.  It has made me go back to the basics and focus on PMG.  Seriously, Sister Bills is so amazing, we have just had so many amazing experiences together.  I love having the spirit with us everyday, and like I said I know that this is coming from exact obedience, diligence, and faith.  Missions are the best.  

         Well family, sorry my letters are getting so preachy now.  I am just finding so much joy and happiness in serving my Lord.  I am in my mission and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.  Although it is hard to think that this is my birthday week and that I can't really do anything fun for it...that is okay because what better joy will I have at the last day then the joy from saying that I served the Lord fully?  okay sorry, that was super weird and preachy and totally not like me hahahahahah.  

         I hope that you all have a great week!  I love Sister Bills, we are seriously just laughing all day.  Life is Good :)

Love you!

Sister Robison xxx