Thanksgiving all the way in ‘babwe

Hey guys,

Yes it’s Thanksgiving in Zimbabwe, sorta. No one here really celebrates it, but to make us feel good some members whipped up something for us! Yes one of the members here in Highlands just got so excited to do something for us, she was preparing all week! Unfortunately she couldn’t find a turkey, but we ate potatoes, corn, rolls, stuffing, gravy, even pumpkin pie! Wow that was so special. She’s like “I just typed in what you eat at Thanksgiving on Google!” haha she did her best. Definitely something to be remembered. It was a little piece of America in Zimbabwe. After the feast as tradition we all said what we are grateful for. When the turn was passed to me, I looked around the room just thinking of things I’m grateful for. Then it just hit me, I said “I’m grateful for my Heavenly Fathers love for all of us, I’ve been given so many blessings that I don’t deserve. I’m grateful for His Son Jesus Christ, and am especially grateful to be a part of such a marvelous work.” Yessss no more missing thanksgiving!!! Scratch that off of the list!!!  Yeah it’s definitely one of my favorites. It’s hard because the Holiday really is all about family, and I’m so far away.
Anyways while all of that was going on a few other things took place this week. A couple of car wrecks from missionaries and more road trips. Actually yesterday I drove President to Marondera to take care of a few things. The reason he asked me to drive is because he had other things to take care of while I would be driving. I always feel weird when I drive him around because I feel like if I go to slow nothing will be done, but if I go too fast then he’ll tell me to slow down. Well as you know the roads here are very narrow and if you want to get any where in a hurry you have to do some overtaking. As we were sitting behind what I thought were an eternity of semi trucks I glanced down the road, looked at President, then gave it a shot. I won’t tell you what happened next haha but we made it to Marondera okay!
Lately I’ve been studying this whole “LIGHTtheWORLD” initiative. It’s got some really great things for us to take part in during this festive season. President actually wants us to go through it as a mission and Light Zimbabwe with the Saviors light. It’s easier as a missionary, but sometimes we forget that just being a member of this church means that your light shines as well, and just as Jesus Christ says “Yea are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” So this Christmas season don’t forget to let your light shine too, and you’ll always find that same joy and satisfaction that comes with serving others, as He served others.
Enjoy your week!
Elder Robison

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Mururu Anofamba Na Jesu

Hey guys,

So it’s been a whole week without President being around, so things were pretty relaxing actually. He was in Johannesburg all week for a Mission President Seminar so he took Sis Mkhabela with him as well. He said he was leaving the affairs of the mission in to our hands. This also meant we had to take his daughter to school every morning and pick her up in the afternoon every day though. I think it’s his way of making sure that we don’t take any trips to vic falls or something haha. While he was gone we did have to make a few trips though.
We told the area office in South Africa that all of the cars in this mission are absolutely toast, so they transferred one of Physical Facilities old trucks to us. We had to drive it all the way to Mutare and bring their old car back all in the same day. This obviously meant that I and my companion had to drive in separate cars so things got a little bit sketchy. On the way there it was okay, but on the way back my companion was driving probably one of the worst cars in the mission haha. We had to make it back in time to pick up President’s daughter from school so we raced back to Harare as fast as we could. It’s a single lane road all the way so we had to do some pretty crazy overtaking. All of that craziness, all while it was raining haha. My companion explained that the car he was in had some problems with keeping water out so the whole time it rained he was getting soaked haha. Water kept getting in next to his feet so every time he shifted gears he felt like he was stepping in a swampy puddle. To add to that he said the windshield wipers were so bad he had to narrow all of his focus on my brake lights while he was could just barely keep up with me (because remember, we were in a hurry). And we got back safe and sound! The whole experience was kind of a hassle, but we managed to get back in time to pick up his daughter from school. It’s funny sometimes how the Lord protects his servants. I and my companion were talking about all of the bad accidents that have happened in the mission where it was totally possible that a missionary could have died, but didn’t. Sorry I didn’t mean to scare ya, I promise I’m a responsible driver haha;).
The next day we had to take another car to Bindura, but it’s not as far so we drove carefully. We even had enough time to take some stops. Remember those orange tree orchards I was talking about a while ago? So mom, you’ll be happy because I took some pictures this time haha. Sorry these trips are normally strictly business, so I don’t have a lot of time for pictures normally haha.
This week we had again another awesome lesson with the Chitima family. We taught them about tithing, and after the lesson Bro Chitima brought us next door. It was so awesome, he just knocked on his neighbor’s door and said “Hey! These are the Elders from my church, we’re here to invite you to church this Sunday!” It turns out it’s a really good friend of his so he really wants him to take lessons with us. Bro Chitima is just such a good guy. As soon as we invited him to be baptized, he alerted the whole neighborhood and invited them all to his families baptism. It’s really just such a joy to watch the wonders of God unfold in such a humble home. This Gospel has been such a pillar of strength to his family and just wants to share this glorious message to everyone. In every lesson we always try to link it with families, he loves it. With investigators like these, sometimes missionaries get so excited to the point that they want to do everything themselves. They want to teach all of the lessons as soon as possible so that they can be baptized. What I’ve done is I’ve kind of just sat back and watched God work with this family as they progress and strengthen one another. This family even does scripture study and family home evening together. In my opinion this is what brings lasting conversion. This family doesn’t even need missionaries, we just brought them a simple message and they’ve learned everything else just by going to church, studying the scriptures and praying every day.

15 And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.

16 Behold, are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes? Yea, and who can comprehend the marvelous works of God?

I love this work, it is glorious, and it is beautiful. I’m so grateful to be a part of it.
Have a good week!
Much love,
Elder Robison

Same old, same old…

Hey guys,

“Your geyser is broken? Okay let me make some phone calls”. “What? you said your sink is leaking? Okay I’ll send someone right over”. “What you said you don’t have a fan? Well let me send one for you”. Yeah that’s my life in a nutshell. It’s just one phone call after another ranking from “we don’t have water” to “Our roof is leaking and our rooms have been flooded!” It’s hectic and it’s tiresome, but I guess I’m managing. Even this morning (after taking a cold shower because even our geyser suddenly stopped working) we get a phone call saying someone is stuck in the rain with a flat tire and no spare! Goodness so we had to go to the office and pick up another spare for them and drive all the way to Zimre to drop it off. It’s just a lot of things to handle at once. I’m actually really grateful for it because it’s helping me understand not only how to work with people, or how the world operates, but become a greater and matured individual. Lately it’s become a little routine for me to be running around all of the time, and you know me, I don’t smile much. So people are always wondering what’s wrong, but I just tell them “I’m good!” Just pushing. But I don’t know how much longer this steam engine is gonna last, it’s running outta juice! It’s putting a lot of wear and tear on me, so I’m kind of praying that I don’t have to be here much longer. After this transfer I’ll have spent literally half of my mission in here. That’s 5 transfers out, and 5 transfers in, it’s crazy. Zvaka Penga! Pakaipa Mdara!
So my companion is from Kenya where they speak Swahili, but he knows a lot of Shona! So he’s teaching me how to say a few things. He told me next time someone hands me a quotation that’s an absurd amount of money I have to say “Uri kufunga Ndiri benzi” It means “do you think I’m an idiot!” haha nah it’s kinda rude to say, but it’s a funny one to remember.
Well we don’t have a lot of investigators in out teaching pool, but right now we’re teaching a family called the Chitima’s. Just a sweet humble family, and a lucky find, living in Highlands. We have had such good crazy lessons with them. After teaching the Word of Wisdom, the father turns to his wife and says “You see? We’re eating too much meat!” We just chuckled and laughed. After every lesson Brother Chitima asks “So what’s the reading assignment for today?” This family was seriously so prepared by the Lord, they were so ready to receive this Gospel. We’re planning to baptize all 4 of them on the 27th.
Well that’s about it for the week. Just same old, same old. Old is good though.
Much love,
Elder Robison

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“I’m on the Road Again”

Hey guys,

Wow what a week! It started just like any other week, but it ended very suddenly and in an unanticipated way. On Wednesday one of the Elders who had visa issues finally arrived in Zimbabwe! But guess what? His flight was delayed to 2 O’clock in the morning! Yay! He was supposed to come around 9:30 but when we got there it turned out it had been delayed. President was ready to greet him at the airport and everything. When we found out that it was delayed he just looked at us, then smiled and said “This is why I have assistants!” Yeah he loved using us I guess. So we slept for a few hours in the truck awaiting his arrival. We were thanked for our efforts with a very delicious breakfast at President’s house as kind of a “Welcome to Zimbabwe” kind of thing for the new missionary. After that we took him straight to Marondera (about an hour away).
That all happened Wednesday Evening and Thursday Morning. Just when we thought all was done we received news that another Elder was coming on Friday! Another visa waiter! And you’ll never guess where he’ll be serving, Masvingo! Yup we actually took him all the way down there today! We got up at 5 in the morning so that we could get an early start so it wouldn’t take up our whole pday. When we got there it was good to reminisce about the good old days. We didn’t have to have the Elders meet us in town to show us where they stayed, I told my companion “I got this”. It was actually exactly a year ago the last time I was there, it’s still just as hot as I left it. Man it is blazing.
Actually Friday was a very eventful day. It was around 4:00 and we had to go purchase some mattresses in town and drop them off in Mbare before we went to pick up the new missionary at the airport at 5:30, sounds easy right? Wrong, we get a call from the Zone Leaders telling us that their car broke down on the way to the office so we had to push it for half a mile… I was watching! I had to coast behind them with our truck so I didn’t get much action, in the picture all you’ll see is my companion’s behind haha.
Before Elder Mtetwa left, he wrote some few small thins in my journal that really touched me. We had both acknowledged that we had been leaders in the field for a long time now, and it’s easy to get tired. He turned me to a very rallying scripture found in 2 Timothy 4:7. It says… “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” He told me to look to Paul as an example as I try to set an example for the mission and not get “tired”. And he also reminded me of course to always look towards the Savior who is our Master, whether for guidance or for strength.
Always looking forward, and of course still looking forward to finishing more milestones.
KEEP THE FAITH!!!
Much love,

Elder Robison