Month 13‏

Hey guys,

Another week of waking up early and going to bed late. The life of an assistant… not an easy one. It starts on Monday, and as soon as all of the trainers and trainees are all gone Thursday morning we can just take a deep breath, psych! One of the missionaries who had visa problems came unexpectedly on Friday and we have no where to put him. He’s with us all of today and tomorrow until President can find a companion for him. I don’t think I’ll ever find a breather, but at least the craziness is over with. Wait psych again, we had to move houses. It kind of seems silly to me that I sent you pictures of where I stay last week, but now I moved haha. I actually moved to my old house when I was working in Domboshava. Because of the temple, it has become the new transfer house, and due to the amount of areas being opened we had to move in. Washer and dryer though!
So yes my new companion this transfer is Elder Mwetu. He’s a really sweet guy who really loves the work. He’s also from Kenya so he’s teaching me words in Swahili. Did you know that “Simba” means lion? He’s only a transfer ahead of me so we’re both relatively new, and we were called to be Zone Leaders together. We were both very young at the time, and eager for the new experience of leading the zone. We are now the patriarchs of a meeting called MLC. Once a month all of the zone leaders come in for that meeting, and now I and Elder Mwetu have been in there the longest. We keep telling each other “we’ve seen it all” haha. Everyone knew from the beginning actually that some day we would become companions and I guess the day finally came, I hope we can live up to the expectations people have in us.
Last week, unexpectedly, was actually really hard for me. People we’re calling me like crazy for flats errands all while we had to take care of the new missionaries for a few days. Things just didn’t go right for me, and to add to that, the senior couples did house inspections and found more things for me to do that aren’t up to standard… yay. Things keep piling up, so I guess I’ll just have to do all I can while I still have the time so that I don’t burden the next flats manager with all of these tasks.
One of the new missionaries finally beat my record for height in the mission. He’s 6’8″! He’s just so towering it’s baffling, he’s also from Denmark. I had a little fun with him reminiscing my days in Europe.
Okay, my companion and I have so much in common! Even down to our favorite food, drinks and sports teams. It’s almost like it was meant to be! I think we’re going to have a good time in this office. I think my time is ticking here, but who knows. I’ll just do whatever’s required of me.
That’s all for now. Don’t have any pictures this time, but I’m going to send those pictures for the Christmas card tomorrow because I’ll be in my nice new dry cleaned suit! I wanna look fresh! BTW maybe you won’t recognize me because now I weigh 230 lbs!!! Office Pakaipa!!!
Much love,
Elder Robison

Transfer week… Again!‏

Hey guys,

Does it seem like every other email is named transfer week? Time is seriously flying. This is going to be my 10th transfer out of 17 total in a mission. I’m finishing off yet another companion of mine and I’ll be getting a new one. His name is Elder Mwetu. Great Elder, hard worker. I’ll be training a new missionary on how things work around here… again! They just keep comin’ in. The members here are like “So like how old are you on your mission? Why do you keep bringing all these guys?” Ugh it’s frustrating, but I’m up for it. Elder Mwetu came only a transfer before me so we’re both relatively young. I guess that means the next up and comer will be coming to replace me. Sad I know, but there are more lives to save! Honestly how many pictures have I sent you of baptisms since I’ve been here, not very many. I try, but honestly it’s tough to get some solid lessons in, especially when transfers are going on. That’s a whole week of; getting up early, buying everyone breakfast, setting up tables and meetings, transporting missionaries, and all this be done with a guy who hardly knows anything.
I, my companion, and President were all in the office until about 10:30 last night working on transfers. Honestly it is becoming such a pain to deal with this every six weeks. After President left the office I jokingly laid on the floor and told Elder Mtetwa “I don’t wanna do this any more!” We got a good kick out of it, but I know that I’ve got at least another 12 weeks of doing this. Then it’s off to places like Njedza again! The glory days! Thanks for the picture mom that’s really cool. Actually last week a member from there stopped by at the office. When I was serving there, there was a time when we couldn’t work with this member all week because he was planting peas. A little while ago he thought of me and brought a huge basket of them to me, it really made my day.
Update on the money crisis, things are getting REALLY bad. Missionaries can’t withdraw money from anywhere. In the church we use Bank of America, so the banks aren’t letting you withdraw anything that was given to us by foreign banks. Ugh, life is getting harder and harder in Zim!
By the way mom you’ll be proud of me, I sang for church last Sunday. Yup they loved it, I just knew that you would like to hear something like that.
To end my email as usual I’ll share a quick scripture and thought. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my mission as a whole and everything that I have accomplished. Then I was also looking ahead at what’s to come. My goal is to be a missionary who can look back on his mission without any regrets. I’m reminded of a scripture in Mathew 25:21 it says… “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
At the end of this life, I want to hear those words. Well done, you have been a good and faithful servant, enter now in to thy rest. It’s a good motivational scripture every time I’m tempted to do something I’m not supposed to do. All I desire is to please my father, and if my offering is sufficient then I will be happy.
Much love,
Elder Robison

Zimbabwe Harare Mission
65 Enterprise Rd
Zimbabwe, Harare
Just as you requested I attached some pictures of where I stay. It’s on the second floor of an apartment complex right across the state house. It’s not the best house, nor is it the cleanest…, haha but the hot shower is nice!

Harare Huchi!‏

Hey guys,

Well it’s been a little bit of a crazy week for sure. Hence why i’m writing to you at around 8:30 at night. The reason I’m writing to you so late is because we are coming straight from a trip to Kadoma. We went for a few business items to take care and also to play some soccer! My companion was way excited when he heard there was going to be a soccer match in Kadoma. He used to serve there so he got to see all of those members again. When we got there it started too late so we took care of a few other things then just left.
When we got back we headed straight to the Nyamhuri’s for dinner! Recognize the name? Elder Nyamhuri? My companion? Yup, he invited us for dinner and it was sweet! Such a good family, all are very strong and active in the church. Brother Nyamhuri actually has a calling in the stake now, it’s crazy. His house is pretty close to the mission office so it’s pretty cool to see him sometimes.
I’m just enjoying my last few moments with my companion Elder Mtetwa before he leaves his mission to start his next one. He goes home on the 25th of this month. It was quite a drive so we just spent the entire time talking. It’s kind of strange to think about it, but my companion is actually 6 years older than me. How I’m relating with him, I have no idea. I’m super young in this mission so sometimes I feel like the goofball haha. That’s slowly settled though when I just stand there, I think I inherited the “Wade Robison” glare. People just take me for a man of business and seriousness, they have no idea haha.
Well things just keep getting tougher and tougher here in ZImbabwe. The office is desperately in need of cash and the bank just isn’t giving it to us. Our finance manager, Elder Peterson, and a Bank of America executive had a conference call last week with this bank that we’re working with in Zimbabwe. We tried to explain to them why we need the money, but the outcome of that conference from the sound of things didn’t go very well. What’s happening (apparently) is the government is sucking in all of the US$ so that when the new bond notes come out people will be forced to accept them. The lines at the banks start at 6am and they stretch a mile long. These people just endure so much, it makes me feel so sad. I don’t know how someone could ever find peace in such a world wiith conditions such as these. Then… I remembered one of my all time favorite scriptures. In John 16:33 it says… “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world’. Isn’t that just a beautiful scripture or what? To find true peace in this world is only possible when you look to the Savior. His grace IS sufficient, and His love and mercy is endless. He knows what we’re going through, “but be of good cheer” He has overcome the world.
Another interesting thing that happened this week is a man who lived in this neighborhood made a visit to the office. He received a notice that there’s going to be a “temple” built on this street. He was just curious and also excited that something so beautiful is going to be next to his home. He says he can’t wait to see it and would want to learn more.
So the temple is coming, soon. Ground breaking is in January! I know that my redeemer lives and his bowls of mercy are extended to all ends of the earth. It is our sacred duty and privilege to at the helm such a marvelous work. I’m loving the work, and still pressing forward everyday.
Much Love,

Elder Robison

Zimbabwe Harare Mission
65 Enterprise Rd
Zimbabwe, Harare
PS I left my camera in these Elders car by accident for a few days so they thought they would mock me by taking a similar picture haha. JOKERS!

Start of Year 2‏

Hey guys,

So like I said in my last email, I’ve now begun my descent! I hope you enjoy the gifts that I sent! They were just some things that I’ve picked up here and there on my travels. Yes I love Sister Nield. She really is a professional golf coach, and she goes to my ward here in Highlands. The first time I met her was actually when my entire zone was invited to go golfing for free at her golf course. When we met I told her that I was from Alpine and she was like “I know exactly where that is! I’m there all of the time!” Yeah she’s really sweet.
As for my week it was pretty regular. We didn’t get a lot of teaching appointments in, but we were able to go see some more members and listen to the rest of conference. I didn’t fall asleep this time! Aren’t ya proud of me? Every single session I was awake and alert. What was your favorite talk? Mine was the one given by President Uchtdorf about “finding your own Amulek”. His examples really opened my mind and made me look at those scriptures at another point of view. When I came here my previous companion liked to do a lot of things by himself, he didn’t really want any help. When I received my new companion, we lifted each others burdens as well as getting better at delegation. We all need our own Amuleks in life, the come in many different shapes and forms and they’re all there to help.
Last week we were teaching a recent convert, just as every regular visit we had some chit chat then we started with a prayer. I felt very prompted to just teach simply about the Book of Mormon, and the power that it brings in to our lives. I testified of it’s truthfulness as I read from it’s pages and bore witness of an apostasy that occurred for the need of this book. The whole lesson she was looking kind of bored and by the end she was like “I already know that stuff! Teach me some new stuff!” “Well, there isn’t much more for me to testify and teach about other than the Savior and the Book of Mormon which testifies him” I said. Sometimes when we go to conference we look forward to new topics or even more revelations concerning the doctrines and the commandments that we have. We expect new light to shed on different scriptures, but is that really necessary? Sometimes conference is repetitive, but that’s a good thing! It’s what we need to hear isn’t it. Sometimes we aren’t satisfied with what we have, but we haven’t even given it much study or thought. We esteem it as naught because we lack true understanding. The Prophet Nephi once said…
Wherefore, hearken, O my people, which are of the house of Israel, and give ear unto my words; for because the words of Isaiah are not plain unto you, nevertheless they are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy. But I give unto you a prophecy, according to the spirit which is in me; wherefore I shall prophesy according to the plainness which hath been with me from the time that I came out from Jerusalem with my father; for behold, my soul delighteth in plainnessunto my people, that they may learn.
Just like Nephi, my soul also delights in plainness. I don’t need to indulge myself in to things that I do not understand, or things that don’t even matter.
The Prophet Jacob warned us against what’s called “Looking beyond the mark”. If we’re not careful we’ll fall in to that same trap.
 But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble.
Sorry I just shared a lot of scriptures this time, nothing that interesting really happened. I’m glad every one is okay and I hope you enjoy the rest of the week!
Elder Robison

Zimbabwe Harare Mission
65 Enterprise Rd
Zimbabwe, Harare
These are what you call Jacaranda tree’s. They only bloom during this time of the year, that purple really is pretty.

Hump day!!!

Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike… Guess what day it is??? HUMP DAAAAYYYY!!!!

Hey guys,
Yup, it’s official. Today is hump day. I honestly never thought that I would get this far, but here I am. 1 year later and still got another to go. People say the second year goes by faster, buuuut it’s sill a year so don’t get too excited, I’m not home yet haha. I’ve still got some work to do.
So this week was zone conference week! boo… I mean YAY! Well I kind of have mixed feelings about zone conference because the training is always really good, but guess who has to prepare all of it and make sure everything runs smoothly. Yeah, and we actually had to have 3 zone conferences due to the new sizes of the zones. We have 7 zones and 3 conferences. 2 in Harare, and 1 in Gweru. We actually drove to Gweru the night before so we could set up for everything. It was actually really strange because I was assigned to give a presentation and I had to give it all 3 times. It was just repetition. While all of this was happening some people were being ET’d all over the place so it was kind of hectic.
At the zone conference I was asked to look over our “Goals and current status” of the mission. Right now we’re at about 1210 baptisms, that’s 790 short of our goal of 2000 in the year. I was asked to review the numbers and see where we could improve as a mission. I decided to talk a little bit about goal setting. I defined a goals as this; a goal is an achievement without a guarantee of success. When you send your goals that you plan to baptize 2 people in the month because you already know people who are going to be baptized, then by my definition that is not a goal. A goals purpose is to help you stretch. Maybe you won’t achieve it, but you’re going to work that much harder and it will bring you more success and effectiveness as a missionary. When you send a goal you know you’re going to achieve that means that you’re not showing your faith. You don’t trust that the Lord will prepare souls for you to find and investigators for you to teach. To end my speaking I read a scripture from Mormon 9: 19-21 it says…

19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God,and is a God of miracles.

20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles amongthe children of men is because that they dwindle inunbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not theGod in whom they should trust.

21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ,doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

I love this scripture with all of my heart. If we show our faith by setting higher goals, the Lord will help us reach them. It doesn’t mean that the Lord will do everything though. Faith is a principle of action. We still gotta go out there and give it our all. I have faith that we can still reach 2000, President does too. I love the direction and guidance that President brings, he truly is an inspired man. Elder Merrell before he left used to call him ” Mukuru anofamba la Jesu”. I have no idea if that’s spelled right but it means “the man who walks with Jesus”. Yeah we get a good kick out of that.
At Zone conference in Gweru it was the Bulawayo, Gweru, and Kwekwe zones. I got to see Elder Gunther, and Elder Huffaker. Something funny happened actually, during zone conferences we had some role plays and I was set to teach with Elder Huffaker.. A lot of young guys were at that conference so it’s kind of cool being seen as one of the “old guys” or “veterans on mission”.
It’s all downhill from here! I’ve got the wind on my back, and a lot more work to do!
Much love,
Elder Robison

Zimbabwe Harare Mission
65 Enterprise Rd
Zimbabwe, Harare
BTW Sister Peterson got me some honey roasted peanuts!!! Yay!!! Also everyone was practicing their African head balancing at Zone Conference. The group that you see is the Gweru zone conference. If you look closely you might see some familiar faces:)