Monday, January 25, 2016

Week #... IDK

Hello family!

         Thank you for the longer emails this week. I am going to write you a super good email this week, cause I have my full 2 hours just to respond to you! (Everyone must have forgotten about me cause it's the end of my mission...haha)
But this week I feel like I have grown so much. I feel like I have changed and overcome a lot of things I have needed to, and it is nice.
         Monday was really hard for me for some reason, all day I just wasn't with it and I really felt like I just needed to call President, which is weird for me cause I have never had to call President for any personal matters, I just don't do that. But all day it kept coming to my mind that I needed to call him and get his advice. Well, turns out that that was the spirit cause that night he called me just to talk, and man, I needed that. I was on the phone with him for almost an hour Monday night and he helped me a lot.  He helped me to see  what the Lord expects of me. He expressed a lot to me that I am a fantastic missionary, and although I am struggling a lot right now, that doesn't mean that God doesn't love me, that doesn't change at all who I am.  Most of it was just confirming what I already knew I needed to do from the pray for charity and be more loving. But after that night, everything has gone a lot better for me. Something I have come to accept is that people are different, we have different personalities and different ways of going about things, but we are united in purpose. I compared it to the Brother of Jared, he knew that he needed light in the ships, but the Lord didn't say this is exactly what you need to do to get there, he let Jared use his personal talents and abilities, and the Lord helped him along the way. That is a big lesson I have learned over my mission. D&C 58 26 “For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant.”
         But Tuesday we had our first exchange with the new way they work, and it was interesting. It doesn't feel like exchanges anymore and it is really weird to have all 4 of us in our flat for meals and at night, but it was fun. Definitely still a lot to work on and figure out, but it is fun.
         Wednesday we had the worldwide missionary broadcast which was so good!  Basically the brethren just want us to focus back on the basics of missionary work, work by the spirit, and be smart with how we work. They talked a lot about member work and how that is the smartest way to work and also about letting the Holy Ghost teach not us. We heard from Elder Bednar, Elder Oaks, and Elder Anderson, along with other members of the 70 and leaders. Something that I took away from the broadcast is that I need to focus and speak of the Saviour more. This is HIS gospel, so I need to "always have HIS name on my lips." Something else I loved is that Elder Oaks said that the two most important things we can remember as missionaries is 1) who I am and 2) what I have been called to do. I love these two things, and they are things that I have been able to really gain a testimony of on my mission. Knowing who I am literally has changed my whole life. I understand things I never thought I could understand, and I have a firm trust and hope in the Saviour that I have never had before. One last thing I loved about the broadcast is something Elder Oaks
said...he said "MEN AND WOMEM CANNOT BE SAVED IN THE HIGHEST DEGREE OF GLORY WITHOUT FAITH, OBEDIENCE, REPENTANCE, BAPTISM, THE HOLY GHOST, TEMPLE ORDINANCES, AND ENDURE TO THE END. THIS IS WHAT I TEACH. NO OTHER CHURCH CAN DO THIS. NOTHING ELSE EXCEPT MY MESSAGE CAN DO THIS." This was just a good reminder for me of why I'm here and the importance of what I have been called to do. So it was a really good broadcast :)
         Thursday was just an average day in the life of a
missionary...finding...teaching...eating at members homes (I had lamb that night, our family really needs to branch out with the meat we eat...there is so much good meat out there!)...and planning. Something funny from that day is that we see foxes all the time here, and I actually know what a fox says now :) but it's not a pretty's one of the worst noises I have ever heard...but we chased
some foxes on our way home haha.
         Friday we had weekly planning in the morning, and then we went on another exchange with the Brighton sisters :). I was with Sister Lulab who is from the Philippines. It was fun being with her cause I may have told you before, but she is in the EXACT same situation I was in when I was being trained. She is being trained right now by Sister Bristain, but Sister Bristain goes home after this transfer, so she isn't sure what will happen.  So it was fun to be able to talk with her about my experience and what helped me. I love being on exchanges with missionaries being trained, that have such an amazing enthusiasm and dedication to the work that I am working on getting back.
         Saturday we had a ward party which was really fun.  They have the best ward parties :) it was a French themed party and we played lots of fun games. There was an awesome turn out too. We are working with a couple, she is a member but he isn't and they are planning to be married, so we are working on preparing him for baptism.   We are also working with another couple who also came to the ward party as well!  So we were pretty happy with the turn out.
         Then lastly, Sunday. Church was good. I had to play the piano for primary, so I really enjoyed that. I have lost a lot of my piano skills though cause I haven't been able to practice very much :( it makes me really sad. But I will just practice a ton when I get home, it's okay :)
         Something I learned this week was why English people eat with a fork and knife and Americans eat with just a fork. It's called royals vs. Rebels. It was basically a way to tell during the revolutionary war who was a Royal and who was rebelling against the royals. Pretty cool. Be prepared cause I'm a Royal now :)
         But that's about it for my week! We have also spent so much time this weekend trying to plan zone training for this week...after long hours of discussing it with the zone leaders, we are going to try to recreate the MTC for the missionaries to rekindle the joy they felt at the beginning of their mission. I'm really excited for it, but I'm just praying it will all work out. It's on Wednesday and we don't have a set plan at all.
         I love you all so much, I am grateful for the constant support you give me, and I am grateful for the prayers you send my way. I couldn't do this without your help!

Love you!

Sister Robison xxx

Who wants a wonton? This made us laugh so hard! Hahah the things you
see on trains here...

Pday from last week.  Our district and the zone leaders had pizza and played Uno at the chapel:)  It was fun!  The two elders at the end are my district, then the two in the middle are the zone leaders.  We are a fun group, I feel bad for the zone, their leaders are nuts!!

Monday, January 18, 2016

"A Week Full of Ups and Downs"

Hey hey hey fam bam,
         This week has been full of so many ups and downs. It has been one of the hardest weeks of my mission (I think I say that every week...).  But this week I went through some major struggles to say the least.  So it has been a stretching week for me.
         After being humble enough to ask my leaders for what I can do to change my problems, I decided a good companionship comes down to three things 1) loving each other, truly loving everything about that person, including their weaknesses 2) serving each other...I'm still trying to get used to this one, I get awkward when people serve me haha and 3) only seeing the good things about people, whenever you see something that bothers you, think of something you love about them.  These 3 things are NOT easy to accomplish...but as I have been sincerely praying for the Lord’s help in accomplishing these things, he has helped me. I have learned how I can change myself and show an increase of love.
         This week was MLC week so it was a busy week of meetings for us. On Tuesday morning we woke up at 4:30, got picked up by the ZL's at 6, drove to the temple to get in the mission van with some other leaders, then drove up to Staines (a 1.5 hour drive). MLC was SO good this time! Every time I go it gets better and better. There are a lot of changes happening in missionary work world wide that are really exciting. We have a worldwide missionary broadcast this Wednesday, which is the first time this has ever happened, every missionary serving right now will be watching it live (like general conference, but just for missionaries). We were able to watch some training videos straight from SLC and the missionary department that helped me to refocus myself a lot. We watched one by Dallin H. Oaks where he basically said missionaries all over the world are not doing what they need to be doing, we are here to simply teach repentance and baptize converts, we don't need to complicate it further than that. So I've been evaluating myself a lot on what I am focusing on. They are also changing exchanges, I will no longer be traveling all over the zone, all the sisters will come up to us for exchanges, so that will be an adjustment!  MLC was really spiritual though, it was long as usual, because councils take forever to come to a conclusion! Especially when it's a bunch of 20 year olds trying to figure out the Lords will haha. But we have decided as a mission to read the BoM by April conference asking 2 questions 1) what can I do to better follow Him? And 2) how can I better teach repentance and baptize converts?  I invite you all to do the same, set a goal to finish the BoM by April conference and ask yourself what you need to do to better follow Jesus Christ. It's amazing what you will find!  And I actually made really meaningful input at MLC that helped us get to our conclusion...I finally feel like a leader! It's great! And I am now the designated mission pianist. I play the piano at pretty much every meeting, President Gubler told me to tell you thank you for making me learn how to play the piano haha.  So after MLC ended, we didn't end up leaving Staines until 6. So we all jumped in the mission van. And next thing we know the GPS had broken and we had no clue where we were going. We almost ended up outside the mission...but we got turned around right before we would have been in Dover haha. But it took us like 3 hours to get back to the temple, so because of that we had to sleep over with the VC sisters that night. We didn't have anything to sleep over...but luckily we were with Sister Rosenkilde and O'grady so they let us borrow some stuff. It was a good memory haha.  It was nice cause to end the day I was able to just sit in front of the Christus.  It was a perfect end to a spiritual day, I am so lucky to serve somewhere with a visitors center!
         On Wednesday we had DLC in Crawley (yay meetings!) it was fun.  Basically the same as MLC, but shorter. Some of the elders that were comps with the district leaders went to get us pizza for lunch after the meeting...well next thing we know we all smell smoke really badly, well they had put a bunch of pizza boxes in the oven and turned the oven on....and the boxes had caught on fire! Haha it was hilarious. So we had to spend time cleaning that up.
         The rest of the week was full of doing LA work and knocking. It has been a hard week, but I have grown so much this week. 
         Oh and I was so happy yesterday morning. I WOKE UP TO SNOW!!! It actually snowed here and stuck for a few hours! Ahhh. I didn't realize how much I love the snow, but I was just beaming all day because of it!
         I love you all so much. I am grateful for the Lord for putting me in positions to stretch and grow. I have a lot of imperfections I need to change, and I think the Lord sees that I have a limited amount of time left and is trying to cleanse me from all my evil doings. I am getting there slowly though.
         Thanks for everything! (Tell people to email me...I only got 4 emails today...and 3 of them are from you guys :( that's kind of depressing...)

Love you!
Sister Robison xxx


Snow Selfie on our way to church!

Monday, January 11, 2016

"The Lord Gives Us Trials to Help Us Grow"

         How are you doing family? I never know how to start emails anymore haha. This week has been really interesting adjusting to a new companion.
         This week I have been able to see how just little things I do and say can have an impact on people for the rest of their life. On Monday night Sister Rose and I really wanted to treat ourselves and go out to dinner at our favourite restaurant, cause it was our last night together. But a member (Pauline) called us and invited us to come for dinner.  Pauline is the best,  she spoils missionaries like crazy and is one of my favourite people I have met in England. So we go over, and right before we knock on the door we decided we are going to share a message about New Years resolutions and watch Look Not Behind Thee. So we go and have dinner and play Rumikub (and I won! Woohoo go me!). Then we shared the message and next thing we know she is in tears. She has been struggling for a very long time now and that morning, she woke up determined that this year is the year she is going to go to the temple again. It was so cool to see how when we forget ourselves and do what the Lord wants, miracles happen. We got a call a few days later and she is doing much better!  She just kept thanking us for that message and the spirit we brought into her life. It was one of the coolest experiences of my mission. 
         That was definitely the highlight of my week. I have also been able to talk to Sister Moyes about the beginning of our missions and she has shared with me how I influenced her a lot in the MTC. I never realize the impact I have on people, but it is really cool to be able to see it sometimes.
         Funny story from this week:
         On Thursday we were supposed to take an investigator to the temple for a VC tour. So we arranged it with a member and everything was fine and dandy. Well we all go in the members car...drove about 5 yards...and her tire blew. It was so funny. But we weren't supposed to go cause our investigator got super sick right after that. It just makes me laugh how the Lord works. His ways are mysterious.
         Something that I have learned over the past few days is the importance of progression. We are here to progress, we are never done learning all that we need to learn. This is something that I have to constantly remind myself, there is always something I can do better on and I need to constantly be trying to be better. I studied Alma 5 this morning and it was a good reminder of how far I've come on my mission, but also how much further I have to go.
         I love you all so much! I do miss you a lot, this week I think I have experienced the most home sickness I've had on my mission...but I know I will see you again soon enough. I just rely on the Lord all day everyday and I get through.  I will try to do better with my emails and being more detailed, all the days just seem to blend together now haha. But I love you! 

Love you!

Sister Robison xxx

Crawley leadership from last transfer, I hate change!!!

MTC reunion!  Crazy how much has changed since then.  My new comp is to my left.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

"It's Out With the Old and In With the New"


         Well, sadly another companion has come and gone. I got a new comp today. Apparently I'm either a terrible missionary and my companions can't stand to be with me for more than one transfer...or I'm just that good at helping them learn all they need to learn in a short amount of time haha. I'm going to go with the last one...but it is sad to see this companionship come to an end. Sister Rosenkilde is going back to the visitors centre, and will actually be Sister O'gradys companion. That means she's still in the zone, and I am now STL over her again haha. Mission life is weird...
My new companion is Sister Moyes, and we were actually in the MTC together.  I know I've said it before, but I really love being STL, I am learning so much and I feel like my relationship with all the missionaries and President Gubler has gotten so much better. I just feel like I've changed so much and I love it!
         So this week was crazy, I can't really remember once again what happened...but I know it was good. We went on two exchanges and on one exchange we saw huge miracles! So I was with Sister Dollman, who I had gone on exchange with before, but in her old area. This time we stayed in Haywards Heath and we literally went finding the whole exchange, and to be honest, sometimes I really dread those exchanges. But we talked and decided what we wanted to focus on was diligence and turning to the Lord in everything. So we go out and have about 3 hours of door knocking before a DA, and about an hour in it starts pouring down rain. I ended up just busting up laughing cause it was raining so hard and it was so windy and cold, I could either laugh or cry, so I decided to laugh. But we knock this street and no one wants to listen, until we knock one door and this man was just like come in, get out of the rain! (Keep in mind this is New Year's Eve, so no one is home). But he let us in and was really nice to us. Then the next morning we felt like we needed to knock a street, and this is New Year's Day so everyone is hung over and sleeping, but we go and knock at 10:30 in the morning anyways. We get to the street and pray to know where we need to start, I feel we need to start at the house to the left of us, and Sister Dollman felt a specific number, so we go to that number first. We knock and a man who is actually a less active member answered. He moved here from the Philippines 11 years ago and hasn't had any contact with the church since!  We were both standing there just shocked, it was so cool!  After we get his info we move onto the house I felt we needed to knock, and another less active member answers! He is the son of a member in that ward who the sisters have been trying to contact for awhile. It was so cool to see the spirit lead us, and we know we saw these miracles because we were diligent the night before. It's funny how everything links together. I have learned a lot recently that missions are exhausting, the level of commitment you have to keep up all the time can be so draining, but if you slack off at all in just one aspect of the work, everything else goes down as well. I'm exhausted.
         Update on our investigator...she dropped us :( she said she had time to think over Christmas break and she doesn't want to meet anymore. It was really sad, but we know that no effort is wasted and that one day she will be baptised.
         Something that has stood out to me a lot lately (maybe because I'm a missionary and notice these things) is how much the church is being attacked from every corner, it feels like in the last year everything has escalated so much. So many members are being faced with anti material everyday in Facebook, and it seems like everyone is criticizing Joseph Smith on every little thing now. As I had been thinking about the last 4 months of my mission and what I could learn to help me for the rest of my life, I have decided that the one thing I need to do is strengthen my testimony in the restoration and in Joseph Smith. To do this I have started reading the Book of Mormon looking for points of the restoration and truths which we have because of Joseph Smith and it is so cool! I have loved this read so far!
        It is scary to me to think it is 2016. This is a year of unknown to me. I have up until May planned out, but after that I have no clue. As I have been thinking about New Years resolutions, the Mormon message "look not behind thee" keeps playing through my mind. It tells the story of Lots wife and how we can't look back, but have to keep an eternal perspective and press forward with faith in Christ. This is the biggest thing for me the last 3 transfers of my mission I feel. It does no good to sit and think about how fast time has gone, and it does no good to sit and want my mission to be over. I need to live in the now with an eternal perspective. I am so excited for this new transfer and once again am overwhelmed with the love and trust which Heavenly Father gives me. I love you all so much and I am so grateful for all the prayers, trust me, I need them. I need strength to keep going, cause missions are exhausting. But I have studied grace and know I can do all things through 
Him :)
          This week I did service for a lady and we were taking her Christmas decorations down. Well, it ended up in us shoving her Christmas tree out of a tiny window. It was funny, she was really impressed we were able to do it. And I got told to get a real job by a guy we talked to on the street...that made me laugh.
         All in all, I am doing good and can't believe how fast time is flying! Ahhhh

Love you!

Sister Robison :)