Dawn baptism, new companion, transfers, and more!

Hey guys,

I have too much to explain, and unfortunately, too little time. So on Tuesday of last week my dearly beloved companion, Elder Gundani, went home. He was so excited. After 25 of months of serving the Lord, and 9 of those being spent in the office, he was finally ready to go home. His home is Kwekwe. Our days of enjoying basketball together will be missed, but new adventures lie ahead of me. My new companion is going to be Elder Mtetwa. Finally no more three-companionship. I will be the acting Flats/AP and Elder Mtetwa will be the acting Fleets/AP. It’s going to be kind of empty in this office, but with such a short supply of missionaries, I don’t blame President for making it this way. It’s a lot of work, but I’m still as optimistic as ever. I’ve actually know Elder Mtetwa for a long time. We lived in the same house when I was working in Dammo Falls. He’s a really good missionary, and a very hard worker. To top it all off, do you know what makes him even better? He’s as tall as me! We’re the two tallest missionaries in the mission, and I think we’re set to do a lot of intimidating haha. Of course that’s not what we really want, but already I can see the people are more afraid to approach me than Elder Gundani.
Last Sunday the baptism for Dawn Thomas was a success! Tomorrow is her confirmation!  It was such a brutal task to get that font to the right temperature. We were struggling, trying to boil water in big buckets and then to our rescue comes brother Thompson. He’s the first counselor in the bishopric. He brought from his home about 200L of boiling hot water. It was enough to fill the tank just enough, and then the baptism commenced. Bishop Machakaire was to perform the baptism. Dawn is so disabled, she wasn’t even able to walk down the steps in to the font. Our bishop had to carry her in to the water. I can just remember the look of terror on her face as she entered her feet in to the water. Our bishop and her family calmed her down and then we had to make her sit. The water was pretty low and she couldn’t kneel so she had to sit. Then voila! She was baptized! Tears filled her husbands eyes when he bore testimony at the end of the service. He can’t wait to be baptized.
So this is the last week of the transfer and I just sent the new transfer sheet to the Zone Leaders. I think I mentioned this at the end of the last transfer, but being on the giving instead of the receiving end of transfer news isn’t as exciting. No more biting fingernails and crossing your fingers that you go or stay, I already know mine haha.
This last week we didn’t do a lot of teaching, but there was one lesson that I loved. A new family came to church last week (all 5 of them) and they loved it! Bishop Machakaire then picked us up on Thursday and we went and taught the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ together. That family is just so humble. They are the perfect example of what it means to be teachable. In 3 Nephi 9:22 it says…
22 Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.
If eternal life is what we desire, then we must take after the example of children. We need to humble ourselves as little children, and submit ourselves to whatever He tells us to do.
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of MOTAB. I got kind of sick of it a few months ago and switched to EFY music, but MOTAB is super nice. I can really feel the spirit throughout the day. It gives me strength to endure and to keep on going.
Sorry this email is short. I’m working on some logistics for missionaries. It wasn’t really much of a Pday for me. GET THIS I got my camera but now someone stole my card reader haha, I’ll buy a new one tonight and send you some pictures tomorrow after church.  

Elder Robison

I’m going on an adventure!

Hey guys,

Quote that movie haha. Well the adventure actually happened and it started on Monday by going to Mutare! It’s a large town 165 miles SE of Harare. It’s a beautiful place with all sorts of plantations, enormous mountains, and awesome shops. It’s really close to Mozambique so they have massive flea markets that sell all sorts of cool and imported stuff. President actually sent us to Mutare because there’s a doctor from South Africa named Elder Jubber who needed to see the hospitals there, and all President asked us to do was drive him and his wife there. After that we dropped off other materials for missionaries and we were free! The next morning we got to go see some of those flea markets. The thing that Mutare is known the most for is SHOES! They will sell them by the thousands and for super cheap. They were really nice, but nothing in my size:(. I guess there isn’t really anyone else in Zimbabwe who wears a size 13 haha. That was an awesome trip.
Next trip we took was on Thursday to a village named Bindura. There are lots of missionaries there and few hospitals so we took the same doctor there and back on Thursday. It’s only about 54 miles N of Harare so it wasn’t so far. We went on some exchanges with some missionaries on Friday, again in Bindura, because they had to interview 14 for baptism! A new area was opened so of course with that comes lots of excitement. President sent us to make sure that all of these people were really ready and not just rushed in to the waters of baptism. These Elders were teaching in a remote little village above Bindura called Stoned’en… or something like that. It’s a little like Njedza (my previous area). Nothing but thatched rooves and cattle in the wilderness. These people really were prepared, and they all passed the interviews. I’m actually really excited, it’s turning in to a little Mormon village. Everyone there is coming to church. It’s also really amazing to see the sacrifices these people go through to even come for Sacrament Meeting. They have to walk for 2 hours. It was a really amazing trip. It was also fun to be a bit of a foot soldier again haha.
We also have our own baptism coming up! Dawn Thomas is being interviewed today for her baptism on Sunday. I think I’ve explained a little bit about her, but I’ll just explain quickly. She’s a white old lady who lives with husband and we teach them both. She had surgery on her brain a few years back and is still recovering. I don’t know exactly how the baptism will go, but I really admire her courage. She can barely walk and she can’t even get in cold water and she tells us that nothing is going to get in the way of her baptism.
It’s been a while since I’ve quoted scripture, but I’ll give you one before I go. While I was reading in the Book of Mormon, I read 2 Nephi 28-33 and something really dawned on me. It’s amazing just how important the Book of Mormon really should be to us. The Book of Mormon was written for our day and we should really take advantage of that. Nephi was directly speaking to the Latter day gentiles and Lamanites and reconciling them to come unto Christ.  In 2 Nephi 33 it says…
9 I also have charity for the Gentiles. But behold, for none of these can I hope except they shall be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the strait path which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation.
10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.
Man I love Nephi. So bold, and so simple. Just follow Christ and do as he commands. Nephi wants us to receive salvation, but even he knows that is only possible if we do all that is required of us.
Still love the work, and now more than ever do I also believe in Christ.
Much love,
Elder Robison
Sorry no pictures ugh. Someone is borrowing my camera and didn’t return it yet.

Life

Hey guys,

My life? Well you can say that it can be stressful at times, but I think that I’m managing. I’m really excited for Dallin. Way to go! I know he’ll work wonders for the people of Taiwan, and the Lord will prepare so many people for him. I’m also kind of excited about him leaving ’cause maybe he’ll start writing to me haha. It’s kind of the truth though. People don’t really value emailing others until they’re on a mission as well. Missionaries like writing to each other that’s all I’m saying. I’m also excited to hear how he does in the field.
Have I ever told you just how inspired our Mission President is? I know that all Mission Presidents and their wives are chosen of God, and they can just blow your minds sometimes with the revelations that they receive. Now that I get to work close to him I can see the Lord really working through him to bless this mission, and this nation. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about him that I just love, is his love and mercy for missionaries. Missionaries at times, aren’t perfect. Sometimes we just have to realize that living mission rules isn’t easy, and he knows that. President always wants us to stay blessed and protected by our hand books, but he can’t help but just feel sorrow and nothing but love for those who are straying. People don’t know how much he has sacrificed for this mission, and what he does for them. All he gets is complaints, and ridicule. I can really see our president taking after the Savior in his leadership, and seeing that has helped me grow as well. He listens, he cares, and above all he leads us by example. This mission truly is blessed for having him and I hope he knows that.
I think I’ve talked about him before, but we’re teaching someone called Brother Thomas. He’s a white guy living in Zimbabwe and just loves hearing us preach the restored gospel. Anyways he and his wife want to be baptized on the 24th of this month. We’ve hit a barrier though and it’s because he’s a smoker. Although he doesn’t want his addiction to get in the way of his wife getting baptized, so she might be baptized with out him. We’ve been working with him, but you can tell the frustration he’s feeling that he can’t kick this habit. He see’s the need, and he wants to quit so badly, but at the same time we shouldn’t just rush it. We told him that over the next few days he should pray very hard to help him know what to do, and receive strength to fight this addiction. He is just the sweetest guy, I think by next time I’ll send you a picture of him.
Sorry this email is short, we’ve got business to take care of today. Nothing else really interesting happened last week so I’m kind of justified in writing little. My life just isn’t as interesting as it used to be haha.
Much love,
Elder Robison

Pakaipa

Hey guys,

Pakaipa is what people here say, and unfortunately I hear it alot (It means life is hard). It’s true things are definitely tough for Zimbabweans right now. This poor country is just out of money and the people here are finally just sick of it. There have been a few riots these last few days, but nothing to worry about. They’ve mostly been peaceful. Today was supposed to be another demonstration, but I guess people just didn’t bother. I really feel for the people here, I can feel their frustration and patience. They’ve gone through so much and have improved so little it’s really just painful. Every day I have to deal with at least one person telling me they have no money please help me. It saddens me that I just can’t help them.
On other notes I’ve really been enjoying my mission. Like seriously, I don’t even miss home (sorry guys) haha. Of course I do every now and then, but the office is just too much work to even think about yourself fir one second. I think I’ve finally reached that point my mission where I’ve really hit that stride, that groove. My teaching skills aren’t what they used to be I can’t lie, but I still have fun doing it. Those few lessons that we can squeeze in to a week are really awesome. They’re like deep breathes. i always feel good coming out of lessons. My companion and I just pat each other on the backs and tell each other that the office isn’t for ever. My companion has been in here for nearly 9 months! My mission looks like it’s headed that way (which I’m scared of), but hopefully I can enjoy every second of it.
I keep trying to find the right kind of guitar strings, but I can’t find any. Do you think you could send some in a small letter or tiny package please? The strings are Nylon I’m pretty sure.  Also please include one of those tools used for it to make my life easier haha.
Today was plenty of basketball! The Highlands ward is right where the mission office is so some return missionaries and some members joined in and we played some good games! It’s nice to see that my dribbling and my shot is still on point, but man am I out shape! That’s going to be a focus point when I get home. I actually am going to make it a goal to really get in to shape when I get home.
Recently people have been calling me “the chosen one” haha it’s really dumb, but who wouldn’t like to be called the chosen one every once in a while. People are now seeing that my companion and every one else in the office is leaving after this transfer and I’m left all alone to do everything myself. Really it was all because President liked me that he put me in the office, but I guess he saw the fore coming events of everyone going and thought I would be prepared for it. I actually really laughed when a missionary quoted this scripture for me “Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” John 18:37. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think of myself as better than anyone else. In any case I actually work the hardest to make sure that the missionaries are doing okay and what they’re supposed to. I’m taking service to heart and that’s all I think about. I remain as humble as possible and hopefully people can see that I’m not here to just mess around, but really love and serve everyone. I know doing all of these things will only keep me in the office longer and I’m okay with that. Yes I’ve lost a bit of my tan and yeah, I’m getting kind of fat. As long as I’m focused on my purpose I’ll be okay.
I find comfort in doing the little things every day, and in the knowledge I have in the love and trust that God puts in the faithful. My favorite scripture is in Mosiah 2:22. God promises to all those who keep the commandments that he will bless them, and that they will prosper in the land. That’s all that he requires and that’s all he expects. He doesn’t care if you were an AP or a DL, we just need the mission to grow, and prosper.
I’m still working hard and as they say “keeping my head up”. What’s next is endurance… which is kinda hard because I’m kind of fat now but oh well, at least it’s not that kind of endurance hahaha.
Much love,
Elder Robison.

Conference Week

Hey guys,

This week was Conference week, zone conference that week. There was two that I had to attend to, the one in Harare and the one in Gweru. They were both very spiritually invigorating and I even learned some things. In the one in Harare I was conducting the meeting. It felt kind of strange sitting on the stand with President and not with my fellow missionaries. Some really powerful talks were given and the closing remarks were given by President. His talk was about focus, and he gave some examples of his favorite missionaries in the scriptures. Of course we all love the story of Ammon, but he really made it clear to us why Ammon knew why he was there. It was obvious, just as Ammon and his brethren were given the commission to bring souls to Christ, so too should we bring souls to Christ. Ammon went to the land of Nephi with a determination to bring as many souls to repentance as he could and when he got there he was bound and brought before the king. The king wanted to do away with him, then Ammon explained that he wanted to stay. King Lamoni was so happy that he wanted to give Ammon one of his daughters to wife, but Ammon said no I want to be your servant. “That’s distraction number one!” Haha, we all laughed when he said that. Ammon wasn’t on his mission to get married, it was to preach the gospel. Ammon’s faith was so great, and his focus was so narrow he was able to bring thousands to repentance and baptism, and in the scriptures it says “and they never did fall away”. If we can adopt this same mindset when we enter the field of missionary service, these people that we are baptizing should never fall away, less-actives shouldn’t exist.
After the Zone Conference in Harare, the next day we took a road trip to Gweru. As AP’s we took the necessary items with us so that we could prepare for the conference. As Flats managers we took a lot of brooms, blankets, plates and so forth so we could distribute those items on our journey. You know road trips are always fun when this countries police force doesn’t have cars and they stop working past five o’clock in the evening haha. We left at exactly five and we almost beat sunset getting there. I’m not a dangerous driver, I’m very cautious. There are many cattle on those roads and some people like to go as fast as you do, so you have to be very careful. Upon reaching Gweru we had to stay the night in the ZL’s flat. The ZL’s in Gweru are both of my previous companions! So we had a good time staying over and seeing each other after so long. The next day was conference again and it was just as powerful. I think it’s actually a good thing to listen to some of those remarks twice, the message really sticks with you after that.
After zone conference, straight to Bulawayo! We had to take care of some things there yesterday. That’s why I’m coming to you on a Sunday instead of Saturday. Our Saturday was spent in “Blues” is what everyone calls it. It’s the only major city in Zimbabwe that speaks Ndebele. The atmosphere there is just really different. It’s always super hot and the people there just know how to have fun. After a half fun half work preparation day, we headed back to Harare last night. We didn’t get back until late so we decided to email you today.
So like you stated in an email that I received recently, I just turned 9 months on my mission. Where has the time gone? I guess it’s just been spent working hard and serving the Lord. Of course I miss home (and especially Lake Powell), but this is where the Lord needs me. I thought I would miss Lake Powell more than I am. That was something I was going to miss. I guess my focus is where it needs to be. When I’m working hard I don’t really miss anything about home. My focus is on my purpose as a missionary, and although at times it’s not to invite others to come unto Christ, I still feel like my contributions are just as valid. I started my mission with 24 months to go and now it’s down to 15. It just seems like I’m taking it one week at a time, and I know with that mindset, I can finish my mission strong.

Well I hope things are well. It looks like we both went on some road trips last week. Only my trip was just as hot without the boats and the water. Man Blues is hot!
Much love,
Elder Robison
Below are both conferences
In the one in Harare it’s the Bindura, Mutare, Harare East, and Marimba Zones
In Gweru it’s the Gweru, Kwekwe, and Bulawayo Zones.DSCN0213.JPGDSCN0203.JPG