Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"Nandos, Be Happy"

Hello dear family!

         I cannot believe you got my travel plans...me, Sister Moyes, and Elder Heninger (one of the ZL's who goes home with us) were just freaking out driving to MLC yesterday morning. But, I guess it's kind of exciting. But missionary work...
         Our Sister investigator is doing so good! We saw her a lot this week and she is so amazing!   We saw her Friday night and she said that she knows that the church is true. Then Sunday at church we were talking to her and some members and she just straight up said "I just want to be a full fledged member already!"  She is so excited for her baptism!  We took her to the temple Sunday night and she absolutely loved it! And she just understands everything and accepts everything. 

     This week was a lot of planning...which is always fun. We had to plan for the transfer and we have made a lot of good plans and set lots of good goals, I'm so excited to see what this transfer has in store!  Amazing things are around the corner.
         So this week we had a mission tour with Elder Johnson who is in the Europe area presidency, and it was so good! We had zone conference Saturday in Crawley and I really needed it. It's funny cause we have SO many meetings as missionaries, but regardless what meeting it is, I have found that if you prepare yourself beforehand and go expecting to receive revelation, then you will. This applies to church as well folks. If you stop taking selfies you would get some more from church as well ;) haha jk, keep the Sunday selfies going, we look forward to them every week haha, it has just kind of become a joke between the missionaries in the Epsom ward, your selfies are the best.
MLC with Elder and Sister Johnson
         Something that I really liked from zone conference was actually what President talked about. He talked to us about journeys and trips. You spend all this time preparing to go on a journey, but once you are on a journey, how much do you take advantage of it? Someone made the comment which made me think...do I serve time? Or do I serve Christ?
What am I focused on as a missionary? Something that I have thought about a lot the past few days is the importance of finding joy in the journey. My mission isn't about the destination, it is very easy to get caught up in looking at my mission as just this 18 months, but in all reality, my mission is about the journey. It is about being spiritually changed, not just physically changed. My mission is about changing my very nature, which comes from enjoying the journey and focusing on the journey, not the destination. I just really loved this and it was a good reminder for me of why I'm here and if I'm taking full advantage of my time on this journey.
         Sister Johnson said a few things over the past few days that I have loved! She said the best thing we can possibly do for the church is to smile, and that love is our best tool against Satan. So be happy people, love and happiness changes lives :)
         Lastly, sorry this letter is really preachy, it has just been a good week of meetings :) but at MLC Elder Johnson spoke to us about faith and consecration. He talked about how we need to continually be improving, but we need to be careful (especially as sisters) to not be focusing so much on our weaknesses that we get in the way of heavenly fathers work going forward. Basically what I got from it is that I need to chill a bit and not expect perfection in myself, it will make me a lot happier.
         Today for P-day we went to Nandos with the zone leaders and the office elders. Nandos is so good. I'm going to open one in Salt Lake when I get home. Now we are going to the temple to say happy birthday to Sister Bills. 
         But hey I love you guys! Your the best and I can't wait to see you soon!!!! 

The one and only sister Robison

Hugh and Joan a 90 yr. old couple we teach
Temple selfie with the Crawley leadership
Sister Bills and I 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"I'm Living the Dream"

Under a train track!

Good morning!
        Well, moves are today...and I am staying in Sutton with Sister Moyes for another transfer.  I thought I would get transferred to another zone to be STL, go back to Brighton, or go train somewhere. I guess I was just expecting a change...and when you expect a change and it doesn't happen then sometimes you have mixed feelings about it.  I have found the longer I am on my mission the bigger the trials are and sometimes the harder they are, but I trust in Heavenly Father and I know this is what he needs for us and our area right now.
         So every time we talk to the zone leaders, they always say "we're living the dream!" And this has been something that has been passed around the mission, all of us missionaries are living the dream, literally we are living heaven. So this week we have seen SO many miracles! It was the best week I have had in Sutton, as far as key indicators go, and we are just so happy with everything. I will share:)
          So I don't know if I ever told you about a girl we met before, but she is someone I met on the street with Sister Rosenkilde right before Christmas. We stopped her and her sister outside the cinema right before they were going to see Star Wars haha. But we gave her a Book of Mormon, said a prayer with her, and she was open to meeting but was way too busy with family over the holidays. Well this Friday we were finally able to meet her for the first time. We were able to get a member to come with us as well, which was my first member teach in Sutton. Before we even started teaching her she was telling us about how the Book of Mormon really resonated with her and she just felt something and she had to do something about this feeling. She knew she had to do something. She was very emotional as we were teaching, and we were only able to teach the first half of the restoration. We didn't even talk about Joseph Smith in the first lesson cause she was so talkative and just opened up to us so much. She committed to being baptised on March 5 and then when we invited her to church she said "well, it's Valentine's Day, and I'm single, so ya!" Haha. We called her Saturday night to make sure she was still coming and she had gone out and bought a whole new outfit to wear, then she came to church and fit right in! It was ward conference and everyone was asking us what ward she was from cause she looked like a member already! But she loved church so much and participated in every lesson too! She is just so great. But it gets better. We saw her again last night and finished teaching the restoration. We also taught her the word of wisdom, and SHE'S ALLERGIC TO CAFFEINE! TALK ABOUT PREPARED! She can't drink tea or coffee, she has heart problems so she doesn't drink or smoke, and she's a police officer so she doesn't do illegal drugs. Such a miracle! Then she also ended up asking us about how the church is funded, so we ended up teaching tithing as well and she just said "I'm going to have to start budgeting my money". She has no problem with it at all. We are so excited to be able to teach her and we really do believe she can be baptised in just a few weeks. She is so prepared and is just lovely. This is a very special opportunity for me, because she shared how she felt when Sister Rose and I stopped her and how grateful she is for us. She is already planning a trip to Utah to visit us haha. But I am very grateful for the opportunity to teach someone I talked to on the street. Please keep her in your prayers.
         Miracle number 2. We started teaching a members son named this week. He is 10 years old and we just recently found out that he hasn't been baptised! So we are teaching him and he is going to be baptized in March as well! I guess I am happy to be staying in Sutton cause we now have all these people to teach! It's great!
         We had Specialized Zone Training this week with president and the assistants, which was really good. This was the first zone training I have had in 4.5 months that I haven't had to plan, so I was able to just sit like a normal missionary and really learn from this meeting.  I learned a lot from it! President Gubler is so knowledgable! We studied the tree of life and I learned a lot about that and how it relates to the gospel of Jesus Christ. But something super cool that President explained to us after lunch was the meaning behind Jacob 5 and how it is a history of the world. He explained what everything means, and holy cow, that chapter is one of my favourite chapters in the whole Book of Mormon now! I studied it the other day and it was so much fun!  I'll explain it to you when I come home...we will do FHE on it :). We also had interviews with President after the meeting. This interview was very different for me and I didn't walk out of it as uplifted as I usually do. I really just left everything that day seeing all my weaknesses and seeing so much that I needed to change. President pointed a lot of those things out as well, so it was a bit rough for me.  But that's okay, Heavenly Father places people in our paths to be able to learn and grow, sometimes I need to be told just straight up that this is what I need to change...as unfun as that is. But over the next three months I have promised the Lord that I will fully consecrate myself and serve him till the very end, and I know we will see the fruits of our labours as I do so.      
      Other exciting news with transfers: Sister Bills is coming to the Crawley zone! She is going to be in the VC for a transfer. I'm excited to see her again and talk to her!  And the zone leaders have been transferred to our ward, which will help so much! There is so much to do here in the Epsom ward and we are excited to work closely with them to help this area.
         We have a mission tour this week with an area seventy, so I am looking forward to another zone conference. It's crazy to think that this could be my last zone conference on my mission! Time is still a really weird thing if you were wondering...But I will also be emailing on Tuesday next week cause we have a special MLC with the general authority coming on Monday, just as a heads up.
         Well that's about it fam! Please keep me in your prayers. Things are hard right now, but I have found peace and solace through prayer and the Book of Mormon. I love you so much and look forward to talking to you on English Mother's Day!

Sister Robisonxxx
Updating the area book!
Remember to read the Book of Mormon, great things are contained in the golden plates!
Sister Lulab, she is being trained in Brighton!

Monday, February 8, 2016

"I Love Skippy Peanut Butter"

February 8, 2016
“I Love Skippy Peanut Butter”

Hey fam!

         So a mighty change...of stomach...has happened to me. This week I had skippy peanut butter for the first time in 15 months and MAN I LOVE THAT STUFF! Seriously, change happens on missions. I used to hate any type of peanut butter. Miracles happen. Haha. A member went to Costco and bought us a big jar of Nutella and peanut butter. As well as one of the huge bags of krustee pancake mix. So we are happy. I love Costco, there is one right outside our area, so anytime members go they call us and ask what we want. It's lovely.
         But I'll talk about my week now, cause I'm sure you don't just want to hear about how much I love peanut butter and Costco.
         This week was MLC week and it was so good!  On Monday we deep cleaned our flat. I'll tell you right now, missionary flats are disgusting. Especially in England cause mold grows EVERYWHERE. So we spent a good few hours scrubbing every corner of our flat. And it feels nice and clean now. I can't wait to come home to a clean home. :). But that night we had to sleep out on the couch and pull a mattress out of our room cause it smelled like chemicals so bad in our room from all the cleaning...that wasn't very fun.
         Tuesday was MLC day which I always love. There are 8 of us from the Crawley zone who go (us, the ZL, VC sisters, and office elders), so we all go up in the mission van and it is so much fun! I will really miss the culture of mission life. I have met so many people who have become my best friends now, who I never would have known or been friends with if it weren't for my mission. We just had a really fun 2 hour drive to MLC.
         MLC was really good, it was a different one than others I had been to before. Usually it is the MLC trying to come to a conclusion of the next step for the mission, so it's like a big debate for 6 hours and people just get frustrated and I end up with a headache. But this time it was just sharing ideas for what we can do in our zones to have better studies and to better teach repentance and baptize converts.  At the beginning of MLC President always does a study council with us, which is usually my favorite part. This time we studied 2 Nephi 2 together, which was so good! I can't really explain all I learned, but he talked about the atonement and the two parts of the atonement grace and redemption. He also explained to us what it means to have a "broken heart and a contrite spirit". This is something I have always wondered, and the answer is great. To have a broken heart is to be exactly obedient to my master, to do whatever he asks regardless of my fears or shortcomings. It is to be consecrated. To have a contrite spirit is to be humble and teachable at all times. I love this doctrine, that is all the Lord requires of us. Do those things and everything else will naturally fall into place.  Isn't the gospel, great? Then we talked about the importance of study in our life, this is something I want you all to help me with when I come home, to keep my study habits up. It is one of the most important things I have learned on my mission.
         So MLC was just really good. I was able to talk to President for a bit and he always just makes me feel really good. Something he keeps telling me is that I need to stop selling myself short, cause often times I don't see my strengths or accept compliments when others tell me how great of a missionary I am. I don't see that at all, but that is something I am working on right now is accepting that.
         Tuesday night we had to unexpectedly stay with the VC sisters again. I swear I should just serve there cause I spend so much time there. But it was fun, it's always fun to have sleepovers :)  Then Wednesday we had DLC, which was basically the same as MLC. So it was good. That was in Crawley, then we had to take a train back to Sutton. So much travel time the week of MLC!
DLC in the Crawley Zone

         The rest of the week was quite busy. We went on another exchange with Sister Dollman and Sister Manage, two of my favourite sisters, they just make me laugh. Sister Manage and I were able to see some really cool miracles! The lady we were supposed to see flogged, so we prayed over the map for where we needed to be and ended up being able to contact 2 former investigators and teach one of them the restoration again. It was really cool, and felt really good to teach the restoration. It feels like months since I have taught a proper lesson!  We have just been finding 24/7.
         This week I had a lot of really spiritual experiences. I was able to receive a priesthood blessing on Thursday which I really needed.  Sometimes like I said I have a really hard time seeing my strengths and seeing that I have done good on my mission, and that is exactly what this blessing told me. After the blessing it hit me that I have made an impact on a lot of people's lives, far more than I will even know. I am so grateful each and everyday for my loving Heavenly Father. I am grateful for the love that he has for me and the ways I am able to feel it each day. I have come to know who I truly am on my mission, and the most joy I have ever felt is when I can see that I have partly overcome the natural man and I have let the spirit grow and shine through me. I'm just grateful.
        We also taught an awesome relief society lesson on the BoM yesterday.  I'll have to teach it to you when I get home :)
         But I love you all and am so grateful for you! I'm grateful that you live worthy to have the spirit with you and that you keep the commandments. Our family means the world to me.

Sister Robison xxx

Sometimes we take selfies on the way to church, don't judge!!! 

Monday, February 1, 2016

"Eternal Perspective Saves the Day"

They have a chocolate bar here called Heidi. I ate it and it was nice.
Now I'm going 40 days without sweets (except for DA's) cause I need to
be healthy. Hopefully I can get back in shape!

         And another Monday has sneaked up on me...time is slipping out of my finger tips. But such is life.
         This week was a great, average week of a missionary! We were able to celebrate small successes we have seen and able to laugh a lot. Here is what happened this week :)
         The majority of Monday and Tuesday were spent planning zone training. I seriously never understood how much time leaders put into helping the zone...but it's a lot. It takes a lot to pull together a 6-hour meeting! But it was good. Like I mentioned last week for zone training we wanted to recreate the MTC for the missionaries. I have been able to see in myself and other missionaries that the "fire in our bones" as President Gubler always calls it has died down a bit, we don't have the same enthusiasm we used to, so to solve it we thought we would take them back to when we were all happy and excited to start a new adventure serving the Lord. Us and the zone leaders did a really funny role play (or at least we thought it was funny...) walking through the life of a missionary from when they decide to go on a mission to their first day in the field. I'm getting really good at acting on my mission from all these role plays I have to do all the time haha. But then I had the opportunity to teach all the sisters about "revelation through church attendance" which was really good for me to study. I was able to learn a lot about the power of church (all 3 hours of church, not just sacrament meeting) in receiving answers to my prayer.
Then a fun part of the meeting was that we did what's called TRCs where I act as an investigator and the sisters each had to teach me.  It was fun to be on the other end and also to see how other sisters teach. Sister Moyes and I also did a presentation all about Jesus Christ. We sang hymns about him, and watched the video missionary work and the atonement. The spirit was there super strong and it was really good.
         One of my favourite parts of zone training though was at the very beginning. We were able to do "interview with Christ" as companionships, which is something president has talked a lot about. Basically you sit in a room with a picture of Christ across from you and just talk to him and have an "interview" with him. It was a very powerful experience for me and I was able to learn a lot about what I need to do better the rest of my mission.
         After zone training I FINALLY GOT TO GO ON EXCHANGE WITH SISTER O'GRADY!!! We were so happy! Haha. We did what's called a work over in the VC so we were able to work with each of the sisters for a few hours. Wednesday night I was with Sister O'grady and we knocked for 2 hours. I had so much fun with her. I'm still praying we get to serve together haha.  I also got to spend the night with her and Sister Rosenkilde, which was a lot of fun!
         Thursday we were with the other set of visitors centre sisters which was really fun. VC sisters have such a positive attitude and contagious spirit for the work.
         The work in Sutton is really hard and has been getting me down quite a bit lately. For the past 4.5 months I have been finding non stop, and we have had one new investigator from it, who ended up dropping us. It is really frustrating sometimes when you find for hours on end, finally find someone who will meet with us, but then they cancel or flog for some reason. It is honestly one of the biggest struggles for me as a missionary. This week we didn't teach a lot of lessons, which always gets me down. I know missionary work isn't about numbers, but I like teaching people. Well last night after accounting I was sitting pondering the eternal perspective of missionary work and what really matters. As I was thinking about this and about how my week went, I realised that 20 years down the line I won't be sitting thinking "man, that last week of January 2016 I didn't find one new investigator!"  But what will matter is that I can look back and say "that last week of January 2016 I gave it my all, and that is all the Lord asked me to do". This really hit me hard and helped me a lot.  Missions are hard, but I know as I remember him, lay aside all my sins, and not hang down my head with sorrow (2 Nephi 10: 20), that the
Lord will be pleased with me and the work I have performed. Just a note of how I've been feeling lately :)
         Some funny moments from the week:
         Saturday night I got asked to buy cider for some teenagers...haha.  Sister Moyes just like yelled "nope, no, nope!" at them. But I guess I look old enough to buy alcohol...so that's good :)  Haha but to contradict that...I got to play the piano in sacrament yesterday (I've basically become the ward pianist and I play all the time, I love it!) and one of the ward members came up to me and told me how she didn't recognize me sitting behind the piano, that she kept looking thinking "who is that 14-year old girl?"  I guess I haven't aged as much as I thought I had haha.
         But that's about all for this week. It wasn't a very eventful week, but I am excited for what my future holds! )
Love you!

Sister Robison xxx
With the wonderful visitors centre sisters! I still feel like I secretly belong there...but I decided it's cause when I'm old I'll serve a senior couple mission there :) 

A member named Nikki, who I met my second day in the field and haven't seen since. I was able to see her and have dinner with her when I was in the VC, it was fun to see her again and catch up with her. I love people in England :)