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 God...so 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 :)
Sister Robison xxx