Monday, September 28, 2015

Love the Essence of the Gospel

Hey family!
         I cannot believe how fast the past few months have gone...I am almost done training...what? It's true what they say, the last half of your mission goes SO fast! This week I have been amazed by Sister Bills and how far she has come. Training is a really cool experience cause you kind of get to see how you do missionary work because the person you train learns to do missionary work just like as we sit and teach sometimes I am just amazed at how good and bold of a teacher Sister Bills is, and then I realize, I must be like that too, and it makes me realize I am a decent missionary. But really, all of a sudden this week she just bloomed and it doesn't even feel like I'm training anymore. I find myself kind of sitting back and just letting her take the lead when we teach now, responding to those hard questions and just following the spirit.  I don't know what will happen come transfers, but I have a hunch I will be leaving. Which is really sad. I have come to love Taunton.  It has been here that I have truly learned what it means to serve the Lord and be a missionary. I have grown so much here! I think I aged about 20 years too...cause when people meet me they think I am like 26...what? I'm 20, please don't say I look 26!!!!
         Sister Bills had a super bad cold this week so sadly Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we had to stay in the flat most of the day.  But it is nice staying in sometimes. I read the book Our Search for Happiness over those days. Yes I actually read a book, I know you should be shocked. We watched the Joseph Smith movie, I love that movie and love Joseph Smith so much. I also read in the bible a bit, I am half way through John now. I really love the bible. 
         Thursday we had Zone Training up in Bristol so that whole day we were gone again. And guess who had to give a presentation  We had to present on using the Book of Mormon in finding, which was a pretty big rebuke to us cause we definitely don't use it enough. So we are going to do better at that. The meeting was really good though, it was all focused on the Book of Mormon, PMG, and why we are here. I learned a lot and just like every other missionary meeting I was able to refocus myself on my purpose. We have another zone training this week with President and the Assistants which should be good.
         One thing I have really learned is that Love is the essence of the gospel. This was talked about a lot at zone training and has been a huge focus in our mission. I am here because I love the Lord. It is as simple as that. I love Christ and I love this gospel so I am sharing that love with others.  Last night we were out doing visits, one person we visit we just go and sing him songs, that tells you how much my mission has changed me, I voluntarily go and sing to this guy for 20 minutes. But we were singing the song I Lived in Heaven and one line from the second verse stood out to me. It says "Father said he needed someone who had enough love". This stood out to me because as we know, Christ is our perfect example and we need to strive to be like him, we need to love like Christ loved and have that much love. I do not have enough love, so that is something I am really working on right now. If you want a good talk to read, read The First Great Commandment by Elder Holland. This talk talks about this and what we need to do with our love for God. It isn't enough just to say we love him, but we need to show him we love him by serving him.
         That was my preach for the week. Hope you enjoyed it :)
         This week we have also seen lots of miracles. one of our investigators was able to come to church this week! This was a huge miracle because she has never come to church before. She met with elders a year ago and that is actually why she stopped meeting with them cause she didn't want to come to church, so that was a huge miracle. And she really enjoyed church as well.  
         We are seeing so many miracles here that I can't even list them all. It stresses me out to try to type them all. But I know this is truly the Lords work and that as we are exactly obedient he blesses us. 
         In other news the investigator who was supposed to be baptized when I was with Sister Dimond is set to be baptized next week. We have been working super hard with him and he just has to do it. He has come to church every week since May and he even went up to Oxford by himself to a YSA convention last weekend. He loves the church, he just needs to be baptized.
         That is about it for this week, sorry I didn't share any more miracles, there are loads, but it would take too much time to type, and we are going to Bath today so I only have one hour to email. I love you all so much and hope you all have a great week!

Sister Robison xxx

Monday, September 21, 2015

Life Lessons Learned

         So sorry if this email isn't the best...I really can't remember anything that happened this week. We spent a ton of time getting stuff organized to work in our huge area that I was telling you about last week. We want to work specifically with the Less Active, so this week we have been contacting a ton of them. We counted; there is at least 97 less actives who we have never met. And we probably work with 15 or so on a regular basis, so probably in total there are around 120 less actives and 60 active on a good day. The struggle is real. But you know what we have learned this week? Sometimes all a less active member needs is an invite back to church. Most of the ones we have spoken to are so nice to us, so we have a really good feeling about working with these members. It was so nice at church yesterday, there was probably 70 members because of the new people who got moved into our ward. It was amazing! I can't even imagine what wards in Utah are like anymore...I was in heaven having 70 people at church, not just 40 or 50. And we also FINALLY got a ward mission leader yesterday; we haven't had one for most of my time here, so we were super happy about that. It is our old bishop, who we are like best friends with so that will be good.  
         Yesterday at church our old bishop, Bishop Tutton, gave a talk kind of just summarizing what he has learned over his time being bishop. I learned so much from this talk and it was exactly what I needed to hear. Although he was talking about his experiences and lessons learned as bishop, he referenced his mission so much in this talk. This made me realize that literally everything in my future is going to be affected in one way or another by my service. He also talked about how as a missionary you learn lessons that you don't even realize you learned, until 5 or 10 years down the road when you are going through something and can look back and see that thing you went through on your mission and how it can now help you. I know I've said it before, but going on a mission was the best decision I have ever made. I am eternally grateful to have this opportunity and that Heavenly Father loves me and trusts me enough to serve him and share this wonderful message with the people of England.
         Recently Sister Bills and I have been writing down life lessons learned from our missions every night, this is something I did for a long time in Brighton but slacked off here. But here are some of the lessons I've learned this week:
-When you're 80 years old and wrinkly your husband isn't going to be hot, so you better not marry just for looks. (That was from a ward member yesterday, in gospel principles we were talking about the law or chastity)
-With every calling in the church, you are guaranteed to be released, unless you are a prophet or apostle 
-I am a master at ironing, who knew? We ironed for this older couple for an hour this week, that was fun!  People iron their sheets here...why? I don't know, it seems pointless to me. But hey, I guess I can iron all our pillowcases when I get home :) 
-I'm allergic to fish...or at least I think I am cause I got super sick and dizzy after eating it the other night...good thing I don't even like fish!
-The most important thing you need as a missionary is charity and genuine love and care for the people you serve. I have had a few people I have served on my mission tell me that they truly felt I cared about them and that that has made a huge difference to them. There is no point in being fake in life, be yourself and be proud of who you are, because you are a son or daughter of God. Why hide that? I feel like truly being yourself and letting your personality shine on your mission is sometimes very hard, but once you are just yourself with all your imperfectness, people will love you for you. 
         All in all we are surviving here in Taunton. Our investigators are doing well. One investigator is progressing towards being baptized on October 9.  
         I am so grateful for the ways in which my testimony has grown over the past 10 months. Every day we get faced with persecutions and people throw anti stuff at us left and right and I am just so happy to be able to boldly say I know these things are true, no matter what they say. One of my favorite lines in preach my gospel is "People may sometimes intellectually question what you teach, but it is difficult to question a sincere, heartfelt testimony." I know this is true, a testimony is the most powerful thing we have to help others feel the spirit. Bear your testimony often folks. Even to members, they need to hear these things as well. 
         One of my favorite scriptures I read this week was 2 Nephi 9:18 But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever. 
         I love this verse because it reminds us all that we have to endure, life isn't easy and it has never been for anyone, but if we endure it well and as a missionary, endure the crosses of the world, then we will one day inherit the kingdom of God, which is PREPARED for us. That is what God expects of us, to inherit the kingdom. It isn't something that maybe we will achieve, but it is something that is expected of us since the beginning of time and is reachable; we just have to do our part. 
         I love you all and am so grateful for the gospel in my life. 
         Keep up being the awesome family that you are! 


Sister Robison xxx 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Ward and Stake Changes In Taunton

Dismaland a mock Disneyland

Hey loved ones!

         You guys always say you don't know what to write in your emails...well I'm running out of things to write about seems like I just do the same thing every week.
         Here are some stories from my week.
         Sister Bills and I feel like we are getting really fat, so we set a goal to not eat McDonalds or eat sweets for just one week. Guess how long we lasted? One was a big deal. We even ate a Big Mac this week and really regretted it. Big Macs are gross just so you know...but we are starting to work out more so that will help. 

         I am really learning how to follow the spirit, I studied that for about a week in the Book of Mormon just focusing on how the spirit speaks and when, it has really helped me. Saturday night we were scheduled to see a less active lady who we had scheduled with previously but we got to her door and they were having dinner so we couldn't go in. So we go to our back up plan and we were supposed to go knock 2 other less actives. But that didn't feel right, so we said a quick prayer and felt we needed to knock the street we were on. So we start knocking and about 4 doors in I feel just bad about knocking that street and so I start praying to know what we need to do and a voice in my head kept saying to go street contact under the bridge on the way home. I prayed a few times and kept getting that prompting, so a few doors later I ask Sister Bills how she was feeling about knocking and she said she didn't feel good about it. So we go start walking under the bridge and 2 minutes later a man on his bike stops and it is a guy who was baptized a year ago who we couldn't get ahold of for 3 months. It was a HUGE miracle to see him, and I learned so much from that experience about how God always puts us in the right place at the right time. If we wouldn't have followed the prompting to knock the street and we would have just started walking home, then we would have been to early to run into this guy. The Lord works in strange ways, this time he just had to stall us.

One day for study we drew out the story of the Book of Mormon

         Our baptismal date is doing so good! We see her about twice a week and she is just so humble and wants to change so bad.  We taught her the word of wisdom Monday night with the plan of salvation then had planned to go over it more and make a specific plan with her when we saw her Thursday. Well we got there Thursday and she had already written down in her journal her plan and set goals for herself.  She is so amazing and is doing so good so far :)
         Sister Bills and I have had a lot of "what is my life" moments this week...we get done teaching and just look at each other and laugh cause we are two 19 and 20 year old girls from Utah helping people to stop smoking. Like hello, neither of us have any clue how to help people stop smoking. But, we have been called by a prophet of God, so I guess we have authority to do that.  But really, what is my life? I love it though and would have it no other way :)
         In other news, we had huge changes in our ward and stake yesterday.  I'm so excited but also so stressed about it. So we got a new Bishop for one, I have loved Bishop Tutton (the old bishop) so much, he is so amazing and has done so much for the ward. But I know the new Bishop, Bishop Eastwood will be so good for the ward right now. We are really tight with Bishop Eastwood too so it will be good. But they re did ward boundaries so our area just got even bigger. Sister Bills and I are now covering an area that typically has had 3 sets of missionaries in total covering. I will send you a pic of our ward boundaries, it is literally so stressful and I don't know how we are going to do it cause it takes 2 hours to get out to the new section of our area. But I guess, all things are possible through the Lord right?  Sister Bills and I both feel like we are the missionaries in Taunton at this time for a reason. We really want to focus on the members and less actives, because the whole purpose of the change was to strengthen the faith and testimony of the members. So pray we can reactivate some families to this ward, because that is what it needs and we are so willing to work hard to do it. Miracles are going to start happening.
         To end I will leave you with a good scripture my district leader shared with us last night:
3 Nephi 19: 25
         “And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him; and his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof.”
         Christ is always smiling down on us as we pray and keep the commandments.

Keep being awesome fam!
Love you!
Sister Robison xxx

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Season of Miracles Is Here

         Wow there are so many miracles I want to tell you about this week. This week was hard again and I had a few days where I was super discouraged, but you know what I realized yesterday? The reason this is the hardest time I have ever had on my mission (cause it is) is because Satan knows that miracles are coming and the "floodgates" as President Gubler calls it, are opening and he is doing everything possible to get us missionaries down and discouraged to stop this from happening. But you know what, Satan can't ever beat God, so I know as I rely on my faith and on the gospel I can get through these super hard trials to become the missionary I need to be to fulfill these miracles. Ether 12: 27 says we have weaknesses so we can rely on God to make them strengths and I know that that is what God is doing with all us missionaries right now. Shaping and molding us to the faithful missionaries required to bring to pass this second great harvest :) I am honestly just so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary right now to experience this season of miracles. It is the best! Missions are the best! Everyone should go on one and request to go to the ELSM cause it is the best. 
         Okay miracles stories now:
         The biggest miracle we were able to see this week was yesterday at church. When I got to Taunton in May our bishop gave us a few names of less active members he felt we should visit and one of the families because of different situations we weren't able to see them until the end of July right when sister Bills got here. We visit them every week now and they came to church for the first time in 10 years yesterday!  It was so amazing and the best part was that the Dad got up and bore his testimony! He talked about how the spirit kept prompting him to go up so he had to. After church he told us that it just felt right being back at church.  He told us why they are coming back and it is because he had an experience where he knew God heard and answered his prayers, so he needed to go back to church. It was such a good moment for Sister Bills and I as missionaries here. I know it has nothing to do with us that they were back, but it felt so good seeing someone who we had visited and helped a bit in coming back to church.  
         Next miracle started last Monday. We were finding for most of the day and not seeing any success from it and we were getting quite discouraged so we stopped and just prayed that God would lead us to someone who needed us right then. Literally 10 seconds later we look and a former investigator was standing in front of us waving at us. He is someone Sister Dimond and I used to visit.  Well we saw him and he said he wanted to meet up again so we saw him Saturday and he is now preparing to be baptized on September 25.  
         We have another person preparing for baptism as well.  She is also a former investigator who was being taught last summer but then just wasn't committed to it so they stopped seeing her.  She is preparing for October 9 and her struggle is that she works every Sunday, so that will be difficult. But she is so sweet and such a miracle! 
         Those are just a few of the miracles we were able to see this week. I'm telling you family. Miracles are happening left and right and we are going to help thousands come to the knowledge of Christ :) yesterday we had a mission wide fast for the floodgates to open, to have a confirmation that the season of miracles is real, and to confirm to all of us that the Book of Mormon is true. As part of that we all said a prayer as a companionship at exactly 7:30 AM. And wow, that was a powerful prayer. I felt the spirit so strongly and just knowing all my fellow missionary friends out here were praying at the same time was so powerful! I literally just love being a missionary.  I have never felt the spirit as much in my whole life, or been able to recognize the spirit like I do now. 
         This week the whole mission finished the Book of Mormon on September 1. I READ THE BOOK OF MORMON IN 2 MONTHS. I DON'T READ, HOW DID I DO THAT? Haha I honestly don't know how I did it...but I did and I love the Book of Mormon so much! It is amazing to know all the stories and to all of a sudden understand the characters and how everything fits together in the Book of Mormon. Seriously family, the gospel is just the best. We are so blessed, never forget that. I have now started the Book of Mormon again focusing on the spirit and how the Holy Ghost speaks to us, and what I have learned so far is that the Holy Ghost is always speaking to us, we just need to be obedient and listen to the promptings and then ACT. We won't receive more revelation if we don't act on the revelation we already have.  
         Okay I just remembered one last miracle then I will be done cause you don't want to read my emails all day. But this is a good and funny one. Monday night we were both starving and didn't want to cook, so we ordered pizza. We had a box of change in our flat that missionaries had always just threw spare change into, so we counted it and we had £15 so we ordered pizza with it and paid with all change. But when the guy was giving us our pizza he asked what our name tags were and so we talked a bit about the church and gave him a card. Then we get back into our flat and it literally starts pouring down rain so hard and we look out the window and this poor guy was on a scooter. We realized we didn't give him a tip so we ran down to give it to him and he tells us he was sitting pondering that nice conversation we had about God then all of a sudden it starts pouring and he didn't understand why. We said we were sorry and we would pray for it to stop, and literally as soon as we said that the rain stopped almost completely. We got back to our flat again and said a prayer of thanks and asked Heavenly Father please let him look at the website and text us...and 1 hour later he texted us! Amazing. Miracles happen people. 
         I love you all so much! Thanks for all your love and support! 
Sister Robison xx