Stressful Week

Hey guys,

So as stated above, this week has been tremendously stressful. It was transfer week and there was lots to be done. 16 missionaries were going home and they were all Zimbabwean. Normally how it goes is their stake president’s will come to the office to get released here or we drop them off of some stake centers and they get released there. Well some stubborn stake president’s later, and we had to drop nearly every one off at their chapels even after being released! Once they’re released we’re not even supposed to take them home but we had to anyways. We added almost 400km to the van haha. Serious road trip in that thing, I was so tired of driving. After all of that was said and done we had to go pick up the new missionaries at the airport and take them to the office for some training. The training went well and even I learned some things. The next morning we had to get up at 4:30. Someone from Bindura had to come to the office to get set apart as a missionary to go to the MTC in Johannesburg. We had to drive him to the airport at 4:30 in the morning! We never get a break around here haha. Well President will tell you that he’s never heard me complain, I just keep my head up and do as I’m asked.
If I haven’t told you about him already, we’re teaching a guy named Ken Thomas. A white guy living in Zimbabwe with his wife. He’s someone we’ve been teaching not for a long time and he just loves the gospel! He gets so excited when we’re over. Before we even met him he had already read the entire Book of Mormon and told us that he NEEDS to be baptized and sealed in the temple with his wife for all time and eternity. So he promised to come to church tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited! My companion and I have been really bummed out in the office and have been craving more teaching, but we just love teaching this man! We taught him the Plan of Salvation yesterday and he couldn’t have been more prepared to receive what we were teaching him. It’s amazing how the Lord really does prepare the hearts those who are ready to receive the restored gospel. In Alma 16, Alma and Amulek found similar success in their ministries, and their reasons were the same…

“15 And thus did Alma and Amulek go forth, and also many more who had been chosen for the work, to preach the word throughout all the land. And the establishment of the church became general throughout the land, in all the region round about, among all the people of the Nephites.

16 And there was no inequality among them; the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which should be taught among them at the time of his coming—”

All this takes is a little bit of faith and we’re promised that all things are possible.
By the way the package came! Thanks so much for the love, and yes the pants fit great! Also I’m seriously enjoying those sour patch watermelons, all of the Americans here seem to have forgotten that they exist and were so jealous when they saw them. Missed guitar strings 😦 but I’ll try harder to find a place with those exact same strings.
One funny skill that I think I’ve developed is the skill of talking with the police haha. You’ll just be pulled over for funny things like running yellow lights right in-between the intersection. I like to have a little bit of fun with them and say ahh Pakaipa! (life is hard). They just say twenty bucks and I say handisi murungu! (I’m not a white guy). Handina Mari! (I have no money) They always laugh and then I sneak in $5 dollars and they put it in their pocket. They forget all about checking for my license and giving me a ticket haha. Bribing cops in Zimbabwe… Not a bad idea! I’ve actually learned to have fun with it.
I’m still having fun although at times it’s a little stressful. I just gotta keep moving forward!
Much love,
Elder Robison.

Ndinoda Chikafu‏

Hey guys,

Do you like my recent additions to applying Shona in my emails? Ninoda Chikafu means “I love food.” That’s right this week was special. I know dad would be really jealous because to tell you the truth, I didn’t even feel like I was in Zimbabwe last week. The Peterson’s and even President were really sweet to us. We got free lunch almost every day, and even last night the Peterson’s took us to St. Elmo’s for dinner. The highlight of all these places was a restaurant called Victoria 22. President took us all there for Elder Shepherd’s birthday. MAN the food was good. I was in priesthood attire and still felt under dressed to be there. I had a big juicy steak! The first one I’ve had since I left home. So I guess you could say there are a few perks working around the office. No money crisis for me haha, I think I’m okay if it comes to food in my stomach.

Last week I had my first Leadership Council training as an Assistant. I conducted the meeting and gave some training. Not a lot was talked about, most of the training was done by President. I was just kind of there to conduct the meeting and comfort President. It was funny how I was standing in a room full of missionaries who have been doing these things for a long time and there I was, standing in the middle of them telling them how to do missionary work. I mean, all of them know how to do missionary work, I’m just there to lend a hand and help out on points where missionaries aren’t performing well. One of our zones had a record high of 51 baptisms last month! Right here in Harare, they were on fire! One of President’s main concerns is how small this mission is going to get. When I got here we started with about 140, and in about 2 weeks it’s going to drop to about 100, then like 90. After that is when big groups start coming in, like Elder Gunther’s. President is worried that we will start losing focus and making excuses for having fewer missionaries. So he’s really going for a spiritual approach. He wants us to be worthy of the spirit so that we can listen to it’s promptings and baptize SOLID converts to the church. In order to do that we have to be obedient to God’s commandments and his rules. We’ve really seen miracles and examples of faith in these last few weeks as we’ve seen areas regarded as “dead”, really come alive and baptize many converts. I He’s trying to show us that with faith anything is possible. In the scriptures it stopped time. The brother of Jared moved mount Zerin for crying out loud. If faith can do that, then why are we different? This is his work isn’t it? If we can attain that level of faith, then miracles will follow.

One day when I was reading my scriptures, I found something that I wrote in 2 Nephi 9. It said “Humble yourself.” I was really curious as to why I would add such a notation. So I read it and it talks about pride. Verses 28 and 29 say…

28 O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.

29 But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.

This scripture reminds me of some investigators that I’ve had in the past. People who think they know everything and refuse to pray to know the truth because they “already have the truth.” What this scripture really talks about is what it means to really obtain knowledge and what we should do with that knowledge. So when I pointed this scripture towards me, I thought to myself “do I need to know anything outside of what I’ve been given?” What I mean by that is what people call, deep doctrine. I love it and I learn a lot from it, but it profits me nothing if I don’t hearken to the counsels of God, and listen to the spirit. Learning is GOOD, but you need to stay humble. I think that’s why I added that on the side of my scriptures. No matter how much we think we know, we need to stay humble and pray for answers, and not counsel God, but counsel with Him.
It was an interesting week of course, but I’m sure summer over there is more fun. Keep having fun, but never forget to read your scriptures!
Much love,
Elder Robison. IMG_1917.JPG

Hapana Mari!

Hey guys,

So this last week was pretty stressful. Things are really tough in Zimbabwe. All of the ATM’s either aren’t accepting international visa’s, or they don’t have any money. Which is really tough because hardly anywhere can you just swipe your card. There was only one bank in all of Zimbabwe that had money. You could only withdraw $100 and they would charge you $10. So I guess now we have to be thrifty and wise with how we spend our mari (money). All week we’ve been getting complaints from missionaries all over Zimbabwe, and we’ve had to take some big steps in trying to solve the problem. Finally our decision was to distribute some money to missionaries through our Mission President as he drives to Bulawayo for Stake Conference. It’s been a really stressful week, but I think we finally managed to pull things through.
Like I’ve mentioned earlier we’re not teaching as much, but we still get some lessons in when we have the time. We have an investigator who’s going to be baptized next week! The only problem we had with her was the issue of prophets. She believed the Book of Mormon was true, but was unsure about Joseph Smith. All we could do was testify and get her to trust Moroni’s promise in the Book of Mormon. “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”If someone knows by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true, then everything else follows. By that same power, you will know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. The Holy Ghost works in many mysterious ways, and I don’t think I needed a miracle to know the this church is true. I only need the Holy Ghost’s comfort, and the confirming witness that what I am doing is His work.

Well enough testifying and scripture sure hooked her, she says that she is ready to be baptized and follow Jesus Christ to the end. One doctrine that I really love about this church is the assurance that after enough effort, because of Jesus Christ, grace can save us. If we had to be perfect to get into heaven no one would be there, but that’s not what God wants. God wants to be with us and our eternal families, but the only way that was going to be possible was through His son, Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the world that He gave us his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” There is no other name given other Heaven whereby man can be saved. He has satisfied the demands of justice with the law of mercy, and now all mankind are given the opportunity of eternal life. There is a saying that I love and that I use all of the time. “God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, only to be perfect in trying.” We have to keep striving for perfection and let God in, so that he can perfect us.

Wow I spoiled you with doctrine today. I have so many more scriptures, and I’ve kind of become an almanac. So if you have any questions I’ll give you scripture haha.
Setting aside the spiritual things for a moment, I have some funny experiences maybe that I can share. There are A LOT of street vendors here, and the funny thing is, it’s illegal. People can be desperate enough for money they’ll even steal what you have. Elder Shepherd last week bought some sunglasses, but he doesn’t like them. He went to the same guy and wanted to trade for new ones, the guy then accepted, but went back and wanted more money. We then declined and wanted our sunglasses back and he ran away haha. It was hilarious. We followed him in our car and I got out of the car to stop him. After realizing that running was futile he just gave the sunglasses back. No anger or rage, just kind of fun haha.
Being around the office, I get to hear all of the funny things that missionaries are doing. Sometimes people just don’t think. I’ve had many people come to me with simple problems, and when I solve them they laugh and say “and that’s why you’re the assistant and I’m down here.” I don’t really think of myself as above anyone else, I’m just a simple servant, trying to get the work moving forward.
I love the work and I cherish being here every day.
Have a good week.
Much love,
Elder Robison.
Sorry no pictures 😦 Next week!