Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 50 - 18 Below, and Loving It!

                                                                                                                                    January 18, 2016

Yellow! :) I hope you have had a good week! We sure have! 

Our new companion's name is Sister Cliften! She is most recently from Boise, Idaho (her dad was a doctor in the military so they moved around quite a bit! The most exotic place she lived was England for 3 years! No, she does not have an accent :( but, we have decided to love her anways! :D) and she is just awesome! 

This week was fun! On our first full day together (Wednesday), we found 3 new investigators, and we set two of our other investigators with baptismal dates! Yippee!! Trevor, a single dad of 3 kids, is preparing for baptism on February 20th!! AND our investigator Ashley, a young mom, is preparing for baptism on March 6th! We are so excited for both of them! If you could pray for them, that would be awesome! The biggest challenge we have is getting them, and others we are working with, to church! There always seems to be lots of snow storms on Saturday night and Sunday morning, preventing many from coming. Lame snow! . But, we are excited, and know as they continue to grow their testimonies and become truly converted, they will see the importance of church, and start coming! 

Things are just crazy! We now have 4 hours of study each day- THIS IS INSANE! It's the most I have ever had on the mission! The scheduling is the crazy part. Trying to keep track of which town or area we will be in that day, who has offered to feed us dinner that day and where do they live, who can we see there in the area, where will all of our studies fall that day, when will we meet with each investigator and returning member, when will we have time to find new investigators and returning members, and so on. Crazy, but fun! It's kind of like a giant puzzle, and I love puzzles so it works! :) AND, the Lord blesses us as we work our hardest. This I know! 

Training this time around is so different for so many different reasons! Now, reflecting back on last time, I feel like I was caught up in the missionary and trainer I thought I needed to be, and the things I needed to do. But, this time around, I feel like I have a better understanding of who I am, how I do missionary work, and how I will be able to help both of my companions do missionary work! It is fun, and also a little challenging figuring out the whole training in a trio thing. More than anything, I am learning to love my companions enough to let them both talk. I am striving to make sure they feel that they have been able to say all that they need to! It is a huge adjustment coming into missionary life, and then moving from a normal missionary to a training missionary! I've been in both spots and am just trying to do all I can to help both of my companions transfer smoothly! That often comes out to me not talking as much, and listening lots, which are things that I love to do! :) It's always a blessing when you can recognize in some small way why you are with the companions you are with, and in the area you are in. 

Fun fact: I am the youngest in the trio, but have been out the longest! Woot woot! I can't believe how much time has gone by... It goes so quickly these days, and that is a scary thought! 

Another fun fact: driving in the snow is getting less and less scary! I still don't live driving in storms.. It's hard to see the roads and the lines and the other cars, but driving when it is snowing lightly is not half bad as I thought! :) 

Well, my time is running out! But, I love you! Hope you have a great week! Stay warm! -We will be trying our best to stay warm! Don't worry, we stay pretty busy these days, so if we are out working, it's not for too long!  Blessings.  Mom, to answer your question, some people are more kind and at least let us step in the door so that we are not out in the cold for a few moments while we talk to them. Most people do stay home throughout the day though- not too keen on walking outside and all. The nice thing is that with three of us now, we can go anywhere! We are not limited to having to have another female home. Sister Cliften likes to refer to herself as the Golden Ticket! haha! :)

Well, I love you! Stay safe! 
Sister Robison 

PONDERIZE: Alma 18:39-41

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 49 - We're Having a Baby!!!

                                                                                                                                  January 11, 2016

Haha! We are so excited! Sister Meleisea and I will both be staying in Bracebridge and training a new missionary together! Tripanionship! We were so afraid when the phone started ringing, but almost over-joyed when we actually go the news! We are looking forward to an exciting transfer! 

This week, while finishing our weekly planning, we were talking about goals for this next transfer. This past transfer, our two goals were to work hard and have fun. We talked about adding one more to it. Work hard, have fun, and baptize. As we talked about it, the spirit filled the room, and filled our hearts. We know we can do it, and we can do it this transfer! We are excited and anxious to get to work with our new companion! :) 

This week was good! A little slower... But still great! We were able to have some great lessons with those that we are working with! The Bracebridge ward is really special! The Bishop and his councilors have decided to plan a HUGE ward temple trip for September 24th. (I keep telling them that I might just have to fly back and meet them all there at the temple! :)) They want everyone in the ward to go- primary kids included! The goal is to make it really feel like a family event, and to invite all to attend. Bishop and his councilors are encouraging all members, active or not, to begin preparing now. Pray and think about things that you can improve on so that you will be more worthy and more prepared to attend when the time comes. This has been great. Everyone in the ward is getting motivated to change and be better! Along with this, we had a really great lesson with a LA, now returning member! The Bishop suggested we stop by and start visiting with this sister. In our second visit, we talked all about the temple and the upcoming temple trip. We found out that she has never been to the temple before, and invited her to join with the ward! She happily accepted, and agreed to allow us to help her prepare! Time is always a bit of an issue for her, so teaching in the Lord's way has been just what she has needed! We are so happy! The work is moving forward. 

We were also able to get in contact with, and good standing with a Part Member Family here in Bracebridge! The father has been inactive for yeas, and the mother is not a member, but is Hindu and from Guyana! (Leave it to me to find the one Hindu person in a small and very white town! :)) The first time we stopped by, only the father was home. We had a quick chat with him and exchanged numbers. The second time we stopped by- because no one was answering the phone, only the mother was home! She invited us in and we were able to talk to her for close to 30 or 40 minutes! We small talked for a little, and then started asking her about her religious beliefs! She is Hindu, but doesn't remember too much of the basic beliefs since she has not been able to worship anywhere with the closes Hindu temple being in Toronoto. But, she commented that she will often go to a Christian church to worship, and shared her testimony of God and praying with us. She also told us of how 3 of her siblings are members of the church back home. We believe she is prepared! We will be visiting them together this Saturday, and hope to come out of the meeting with a new investigator, and a new returning member, and eyes set on the temple and an Eternal Family! 

With the temple focus, I was asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday! Guess what I was asked to speak on? Temples! Yahoo! I relayed how wonderful it was to be speaking on temples since it was close to a year ago I spoke in my own home ward about temples prior to entering the mission field! When I first got the assignment, I thought I might actually just pull out that talk and use it- cheating? Maybe, but hey! It was a great talk! :) Anyways, that was the plan until I got up that morning and felt like there were other things I needed to share. I was only asked to talk for 10 minutes, so I decided to share more personal stories on the temple. The temple is truly a wonderful place! I am so grateful for it. I have been so blessed to attend the temple multiple times on the mission. It is truly the Lord's house and a wonderful place to receive revelation and guidance! (If all works out and the 3 of us make it to the end of this transfer still together, then we will be able to go to the temple again for a 6 week follow-up meeting with our new one! :D) I am grateful for those in my life that have helped me to gain a testimony of temples. I would not have the testimony that I have today if it were not for church leaders, parents, and other family and friends that have always made it a focus! :) 

If there is one thing I would have to say I learned this transfer from Sister Meleisea, it would be to use the talents that you have been blessed with. Friday we had a zone meeting, and I was blessed to be asked to play the piano!Sunday, before talking, Sister Meleisea and I were able to perform a special musical number for the ward. She sang "How Great Thou Art," and I accompanied her! (I admitted to the ward after that I was more nervous for the piano playing than I was for the talk I was about to give! They chuckled. I think I'm funny sometimes :)) We sing often at member's homes to help them feel the spirit after sharing a meal with them. And, the list could go on and on. As I have been using these talents, even though I am not confident in them, I have been able to sense a hint of improvement! It's wonderful! I am excited to continue and see where it takes me! AND! Since we are staying here, Sister Meleisea and I, and hopefully our new companion, will be doing an Island dance for the Ward Talent Show this Saturday! ... We will have to learn quickly, but it should be fun! :D

Canada Weather. It is crazy. We had rain for a couple of days, and then last night, in the span of 20 minutes, it went from 3 above and raining, to 3 below and snowing. Flash freeze! Scary stuff! Always an adventure though- that's for sure! We pray for safety all day everyday. God is watching out for us, and I am grateful for that!  

Well, I love you! I hope you have a great week! Stay warm and pray lots! :) 

Much love, Sister Robison! 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 48 - Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow and a Happy New Year!

                                                                                                                                      January 4, 2016
Family! Friends! Everyone else! 

I am so happy! This week was such a great week. I really feel that the work is picking up in our area! It is a great feeling. 

Sister Meleisea and I have really been working hard! We have been striving to do all the things that our Mission President has asked of the missionaries. Lots of little things that add up! Similar to how reading the scriptures every day adds up. :) But, we have seen so many miracles and blessings come from it! We are teaching more and more each week, and are finding more and more people to teach each week! It's good! It's just all gooooood! 

Happy New year by the way! We had to be in our apartment by 7 at the latest on New Years Eve to do some good old Weekly Planning! Then, we were in bed and fast asleep by 10:30 pm! When we woke up at 6:30  the next morning, we were happy to know we had entered a new year! Wahoo! Our New Years Day was pretty normal, filled with all the things we normally do as missionaries. Nothing to right home about. :) 

I personally am very excited about this new year. Prior to, at the beginning of the week, I studied a lot from Preach My Gospel chapter 8! It talks all about using our time wisely, and setting goals. I was pondering pretty seriously on some great goals I could set that would carry me through the rest of the mission, and even into life at home. While pondering and thinking, my thought turned toward the mission vision our mission president has been emphasizing lately. Something that we all fasted for, and are constantly praying about. The main goal is achieving 1,000 baptisms in the Canada Toronto Mission this year. An intermediate goal to help us get there is to have at least one baptism in each area this transfer. As I was thinking about this, the spirit confirmed to me that this needs to be my personal goal. At least one baptism in each of my areas each transfer. I know that the mission vision is real. And, I know that my thoughts were directed by the Spirit. So, I know that I can do this! It is going to take a lot of hard work, dedication, faith, and prayer, but I am excited. Excited for the challenge, and excited to achieve this goal that I have set for myself. It is a goal that is going to stretch me and continue to motivate me for the rest of the time that I have to serve, which is exactly what goals should do. Stretch and motivate! :) 

On that note, I am so greatly looking forward to this year! I know it is going to be a great one! The snow has come, and the cold, and it's good! We are lucky. It seems like it is going to be a pretty mild winter. Today is 18 below. But tomorrow is supposed to be warmer, and then it is supposed to hover around 1 below for the rest of the week. That is wonderful news! Very nice and warm for us :) The members all get a good kick of us trying to tell them how cold we are when it is only 9 below. We just like to laugh right a long with them! 

Funny story of the week: (I am definitely still getting used to driving in the snow!) Yesterday I drove our car into a ditch filled with snow... turns out Canadian roads don't have shoulders! Just ditches filled with snow. It's all good though because I drove into the ditch slowly- thinking I was going to park on the non-existent shoulder to make a few calls- and then found we were stuck... But, the Lord loves us! Moments later men from the fire department drove by and pulled us out with some chains! The found it understandable when I told them I was from Las Vegas. :) The only damage that was done was to my personal pride... hahaha After the fact Sister Meleisea and I both wish we would have had them take a picture. Funny day. 

Anyways! I love you all! Thanks for your emails, love, and support! I hope you have a great week and stay very warm! 

Alofa Tele,
(Much Love)

Sister Robison 

PONDERIZE: Alma 26:35

Week 47 - Dear Family, I just adore you!

                                                                                                                           December 29, 2015

I do! :) You are all lovely. I am so grateful for the time that we had to talk this Christmas! It was nice to hear the updates on your lives and to see you and how much you have each changed! 

Nate and Maddie! Congrats! :) I can't wait to get the wedding invite! :) My only request is this: A life-size cardboard cut out of me! So I can still be in all the pictures! :D That is all. 

Kara and Justin! That storm that went through Texas has hit Canada! Wahoo! It is no longer green up here! And this time, it looks like all the snow is here to stay. Here comes winter! 

It looks like the cabin was a blast! And I am glad! Please tell Trace that he did an awesome job with that snowman on the river! Looks like it was a lot of fun to build! :) I'm going to try to convince Sister Meleisea to build a snowman with me one of these days! She isn't too excited about the snow... or the cold.. haha! 

Christmas day was a whirlwind. We helped out at a local grocery store that put on a "Don't be alone" Christmas dinner for others in the community. We helped to set things up, help various people get their food, and then take things down. It was a great time to work along side many members of the community! We had a lot of positive exchanges and were also able to talk and help and serve others. Give back a little. It was a nice treat for us on Christmas day! After we finished things up there, we were able to go and spend some time with some Less Actives in the ward! They were so nice. We played the dice game with them, and there were lots of laughs! :) So, thank you for sending that Mom! After singing to them and wishing them well, we headed off to the MacNaughten's for dinner and for skyping/facetiming home! A great way to end the evening! 

We were stuffed by the end of it all. We ate at the grocery store, the LA's house, and the MacNaugthen's. Woah. So full. So goes the life of a missionary eh? haha  
Well, we saw some miracles this week! We decided to try and contact a LA member off of a list from the RS president. She wasn't home. So, we decided to knock on the doors in the area! After a few doors, we knocked into Tom! He is a father and a husband, and loves Jesus Christ! After explaining some of our basic beliefs to him, he agreed to have us come back and share more! We set up a time to come back and visit when his whole family was going to be home in the new year! We are excited to teach him and his family about our loving Heavenly Father and His plan for each of us!
Then, this morning, we got a call from a gentleman we met at the Christmas dinner we helped out at. I love being able to see how God places us in the paths of His children that need help. This man has been going through a rough time. He is in between places, things with family members aren't going well health wise, he is just down on hope, and was seeking some spiritual up-liftment. We could feel the spirit as we were talking to him on the phone. We will be seeing him tomorrow, and will hopefully be able to help! Sometimes, God has to humble us so he can make us better, make us stronger. 

I am so grateful for my Savior. I am so grateful for this Christmas Season. I have learned a lot about Christ through the scriptures, the spirit, and even some videos. Christ did come. He performed the atonement! He made the Plan of Salvation Possible. And, the greatest thing is that He will come again! A movie that stuck with me this Holiday season was the Testaments. Not necessarily a Christmas Show, but great for the season none the less. I would invite you to watch it! Christ knows us personally, and He can and will help us through anything. I have learned this for myself this past year. It has been so growing and stretching, but easily the best year of my life. I am grateful to see what this next year brings! 

Well, I want to end with offering and asking you one question? What are you doing to do this year to become better, and do better? What is a gift you could offer our Savior and Our Heavenly Father? I want to invite you to think and pray about a Christ-Like attribute on which you could improve. Through the guidance of the spirit, I know one will be brought to your mind. Once it has, I want to invite you to strive to work on it. Give that gift to your Savior this Holiday Season and New Year. Great things are yet to come as we continue to always draw closer to Christ and be perfected in Him. 

Have a great and warm week! Eat lots of yummy left overs, and cuddle up to the fire with your scriptures! :) You won't regret it! ;) 
Love you! 

Sister Robison 

Week 46 - Merry CHRISTmas! :)

                                                                                                                                     December 21, 2015

Hello Family! :) I love you all! I hope you are having a great and happy holidays! 

This week has been good. We finally got some snow! Sister Meleisea and I had walked to the church to send out those skype emails and do a few other things on Friday. The weather was great as we walked to the church. A little cold, but nothing out of the ordinary! By the time we came out, about an hour later, the ground was covered in a couple inches of snow! Needless to say, we were pretty surprised! After doing a few silly things with the snow, we began the 20 min walk home in the snow! Brrrr. We had to rethink the rest of our evening. We have many members telling us to stay inside, not to go on the roads, and so forth. It was a lot of fun! :) It seems like it snowed continuously for about 24 hours. Let's just say we did a LOT of shoveling for ourselves and our neighbors, and for others in the ward and so forth. We are both still sore :) 

So, I had to drive in the snow. ... I don't like it! haha But that's okay. I just go super super slow and make wide turns and stop pretty early and call it good! Luckily, the weather is getting warmer, and we are getting a good amount of rain (it started this morning...) throughout the week! So, all the snow will melt, and there will be no more driving in the snow! But, no snow for Christmas... You win some, you loose some. What can I say? 

This week, I learned the parable of the talents. Now, of course I knew the parable of the talents. But, I actually learned how it applies to me in my life! ... :) I don't like singing for other people. I myself am not confident in my singing capabilities, so often times I avoid it where ever possible. But, one things Sister Meleisea loves to do is sing! And, sing for people! So, what have I been doing a lot of this transfer? Singing for others! As I have sung more and more, I have become more and more comfortable singing! I don't know if my singing abilities are getting any better, but I am becoming more and more open to the idea! I feel like my talent is growing! And so where does this lead us? Sister Meleisea and I sand a Christmas Carol Duet in Sacrament Meeting yesterday. And, we sang it without any accompaniment. Scary. Super scary. But, it was good! Heavenly Father has blessed us with talents! If we never try to develop them, and just bury them in the ground, that's not going to take us anywhere! Use your talents- even if they aren't the best... but, they will get better, and you will be happy! :) 

One of the highlights of the week for us had to be Thursday. We had received a media referral about a week ago from the Christmas Discover Why Website! It took us a bit to contact them because of the distance... 88 kilometers away! We had tried calling a few different times, but always got the machine, and never got a call back. So, we got a member to give us a ride, and planned to head out there this past Thursday. We were happy to find the referral- Bonnie- home! She doesn't really know how she came across the website- said it just kinda popped up- and she liked what she saw! She was even happier when she saw that we were giving out free Bibles! She had somehow lost hers and was longing to read from it again. We started asking her about her background and so forth and found out something really cool! In the past week, during the nights, her deceased father has been popping into her dreams. She told us he is a very religious man and she feels like he has been trying to tell her something. As the conversation continued, and after we all got to know each other a little better, we started talking about the Book of Mormon. Bonnie has researched the Mormon church a little at one time in her life, but besides that, doesn't know too much about it. But, she accepted The Book Of Mormon with open arms! She remarked that she was excited to read from it. We left her with Alma 7- connecting it all back to Christmas and how we can learn about the birth of Christ in the Book of Mormon and so on. Then, we testified and taught a little about the Plan of Salvation. We testified that this is what her father is trying to say to her. The spirit was so strong and just engulfed us all. We asked her how she felt and all she could say is "Wonderful." Unfortunately we were not able to stay for too much longer, but, we set up a time to come back and to teach her more about the Plan of Salvation and the Book of Mormon. 
The neat thing is that we probably would have never found Bonnie any other way. We probably would have never ventured out into that area, and if we had, we probably still would have never found her since she lives on a back road about 8 k's out of town. But, our Heavenly Father was able to lead Bonnie to us, and it was all through the Christmas Initiative. I have learned for myself that we can and will find the elect through the Christmas Initiative! I love it! :) 
 Sister Meleisea's headaches have calmed down a lot. A lot of her back pain is starting to come back. We have been shoveling a lot of snow lately and I think that might be a cause for it. Hopefully, since it will be raining a lot this week here, and melting all of the snow, her pain will come down. But she is great. She is a great and powerful missionary! Strong testimony. The ward loves her and is really hoping she will be around for another transfer so that she can perform a Samoan dance in the Ward Talent show, and so they can potentially put on a Luau! Sister Meleisea keeps me going, and definitely keeps me on my toes! haha we have fun together! :)

I am doing well! Sore from all the snow shoveling service, and a little nervous when it comes to driving in the snow... but great beyond all of that! I love being a missionary. I was actually happy to hear that we would be extended by a week! One more week to go out and do the Lord's work. It's a great thing. So, that means that my last transfer will be on August 16th as opposed to the 9th, so I imagine I will be home on the 17thas opposed to the 10th. Don't quote me on that. But I think that is how it will go! 

Well, I love you! I will talk to you soon! Have a great and merry CHRISTmas! and stay warm and safe!!! :) Loves! 

Sister Robison