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