Maxin’ and Relaxin’

Hey guys,

Sorry for the lame subject line. Does anyone remember where it’s from? hehe. Anyways this week was pretty solid we did lots of work and found lots of people waiting to hear the restored gospel! We didn’t see a lot of our old investigators, but quite randomly we found a lot of new investigators. Really as we just faced fall throughs we would just turn around and contact the next person we see or even ask the person who is there if there’s anyone else we could see. I could just see the Lord’s blessings pour out upon us as we endured our journey doing the Lord’s work. To a great surprise when we tallied our new investigators at the end of the week, we counted 25 new investigators. It felt like any other week, but like I said I think the Lord knew our struggles and now we have a lot more individuals and even families to teach.

This past week we were working in a part of our area called Waverly. It’s quite big, but it’s a little bit far from where the chapel is so not a lot of people are able to come to church. There are a few members who stay there and one of them is someone I have to tell you about. His name is Brother Jongwe. Probably one of the most hilarious and converted individuals you have ever met. When we get there he was preparing some sadza for him to eat. When he see’s us he just stands up and says “Ah! Elders of Israel! Um… uhh… Okay! No matter the food! Let’s bring souls to the Lord!” Sooo funny. He’s just someone who looooves missionary work. He took us to see tons of people who were ready for the restored gospel. Between appointments he’ll just stop people on the street and be like “Elders! This is my brother (not really his brother, but that’s what he calls everyone) he needs the restored gospel!” He’ll just stop them and then explain who we are then tells them to give us their contacts haha, it’s so funny! And so helpful too because it makes it easier for people to listen if their neighbor is testifying of the same stuff. He’s even memorized our number and gives it to people he see’s. We get random phone calls all the time now. It’s so awesome! As he’s walking down the street in front of us, I’ll just hear him say to himself quietly but triumphantly “Glory to the Lord”. That’s his favorite phrase! Glory to the Lord. When we see someone and start teaching them. I’ll explain a scripture, or start to testify of the first vision and then you’ll just hear “You see! That’s how it is! You see!” It’s just hilarious. When someone isn’t there for an appointment he’ll say “no matter! Let’s go fishing”. I could just go on and on.

Well I think you know now the kind of people we work with. I can probably tell you about one family that we’re teaching called the Takawira’s. Just a humble baba looking for truth. He was actually just a street contact, but when I explained what we do he got really excited! When we went to his house we gave him a Book of Mormon and upon our return he read the first 10 chapters of 1 Nephi! He then explained the contents of what happened as if he was actually there! We immediately extended a baptismal date and he accepted! Along with a visit to church on Sunday! Just goes to show that God is gathering his elect. Very prepared man. We are trying to work with the wife now, wish us luck!

Well though the week was eventful. That’s about as much as I could pack in to this email. Those were probably my highlights. Still strong, and still putting our trust in the Lord. Please keep sending me pictures!

Much love,
Elder Robison

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With Patience Comes Understanding

Hey guys,

Well it’s been an eventful, but stressful week. Lot’s of teaching, but never in my whole mission have I faced so much disappointment. What I thought was a good week ended up to be very trying. We have so many people on date for baptisms, but they just fail to come to church! We only had like 2 come to church, and one was just visiting from Kwekwe. In my heart I felt so frustrated and impatient. Amidst all of this, at the end of our empty investigators class a member offered the closing prayer. As I was listening to his prayer his words calmed my heart. He thanked God for the souls that were here today, and for their sacrifice and desire for truth. I just had this overwhelming feeling of gratefulness for those we did have that day.

After church we just continued our work and saw a few more people who either failed to come to church, or heard from us for the first time. When we got home that night I pulled an old paper from my files in the MTC. It was an apostolic blessing invoked by Elder Bednar during a training broadcast. The blessing included waiting on the Lord. Not being so impatient. That we will trust in his promises, and wait for those blessings. Everyone works according to their own pace and I think I just need to accept that. My beating heart then turned away from it’s impatience and I felt an overwhelming feeling of peace. It’s kind of funny but this kind of reminded me of basketball. You’ll find that more experienced point guards are more patient and attack when the time is right. They make the right moves according to what they read from the defense. Well kind of like basketball I guess I could apply this to missionary work. Every one has different needs. An experienced missionary knows not to be disappointed when things don’t work out or they’re not progressing as fast as you want them to. We need to wait on the Lord and trust in His timing. With everything there is a purpose, and a reason. Our job is to just keep doing what we’re supposed to. Whether I plant seeds, or reap the fruits of my labor it matters not, save it those souls are saved in the Kingdom of God. In Psalms 27 (A psalm of David) it says…

14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Last week I explained these problems we’re having in our area in our regular interviews with President Mkhabela. He basically told me the same thing. He told me to be of good courage and never give up. Just keep trying with all discipline. He also said to continue motivating and encouraging the zone. Man I love my Mission President.

Well on the 26th of March I’m left with exactly 6 months of my mission. I’ve (technically) served a sister mission! Well time surely is flying and I feel like I sit in this internet cafe every other day but I’ll just keep pressing forward. Thank you so much for the motivation and inspiration to endure.

Wait on the Lord! Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.

Much love,
Elder Robison

Birthday Weekend

Hey guys,

Thank you all again for the wonderful birthday wishes. I feel so loved from so many miles away. Well it was a pretty good birthday weekend. Me and the other guys in Kadoma had some fun at their new house. Those guys are crazy, they built a rope swing in their yard and attached it to a huge tree. It’s so sick! Then we just go so hyped I just decided to build a campfire pit, so sweet! We roasted wieners, some marshmellows, then topped it off with chocolate cake and caramel ice cream. It really was a good day. We had lots of clean fun.
Well it was also a good week because the same thing that was slowing us down last week (our broken car) was replaced with a brand new one! Straight from the dealership :). People are like “perks of the being a former assistant”, but I beg to differ! Haha it’s okay at least we get to work much more effectively now.
Last week was also zone meeting. I was given the task to train all of the missionaries on their purpose. We read the first few pages in PMG and I was reminded of quite a few things. During the next few transfers a lot of missionaries will be leaving the mission and President wants us all to be reminded of what our purpose is. One thing I noticed that it repeated a lot was something called an “Eternal Family”. It says that our job is to bring everyone to the knowledge that we are all a part of this Eternal Family, and that sharing this Gospel becomes much easier as we begin to see everyone around us as our brothers and sisters. It also discusses much about God’s Plan of Salvation, and the doctrines put forth for the salvation and happiness of His children. It then goes on to explain about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and how if we know what it truly means in our lives then our desire to spread this message increases. As I was reading my scriptures last week, I began to ponder about the Plan of Salvation a lot. I turned to lots of scriptures and then it just hit me. This plan, is just perfect. It’s just perfect. No flaws, no loopholes, just perfection. In Alma 12:30 it says…
30 And they began from that time forth to call on his name; therefore God conversed with men, and made known unto them the plan of redemption, which had been prepared from the foundation of the world; and this he made known unto them according to their faith and repentance and their holy works.
And there are so many more that testify of this great plan. To end this email I’ll share another experience we had, and actually something that I shared with President this week. This past week in Kadoma we’ve faced challenges, but of course have tried to learn from those experiences. Actually on Saturday we tallied up 9 fall throughs. Everyone we made appointments with either couldn’t make it or weren’t there, even our back ups weren’t there. Near the end of the day I just felt frustrated after only teaching one lesson the whole day. It was about 7:00 and I looked at my companion and said “I won’t give up! I won’t lose! There has to be someone we could see right now.” Well miracles were not wrought that night, but my spirit was still determined. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from missionary work is that the devil is at work too. I’m sure he wanted me to feel like a failure that night, and even after telling him I’m not quitting there still wasn’t anyone we could see. I now know that even when we pick ourselves back up he’s still at work. God wants to see if we’ll quit or not. My whole life I’ve hated the idea of quitting. So I’ll just keep moving forward no matter the consequences.
Well I love being a missionary, keep the faith.
Much love,
Elder Robison

PreBirthday Afflictions

Hey guys,

Well it really is my Birthday soon. Thank you everyone so much for the wishes! I was so overwhelmed with my inbox when I looked at it today. Truly, thank you so much. Yup it’ll be my last one before I get home, another milestone hehe. Anyways I hope I get to spend it well. The Elders in Kadoma are pretty sweet, I’m sure we’ll come up with something fun.

Well to get things started with this email it’s kind of bitter sweet. I’ll start with the sweet stuff, and then you’ll know why it’s bitter also.

Yesterday we had the great privilege of baptizing a man named Norman Chari. Brother to Brother Jakarasi, friend to many members, and had apparently been taught by missionaries before but just wasn’t interested. Well at the beginning of last transfer we were teaching his wife. After taking only a few lessons she really wanted us to meet him so that we could teach him too. He doesn’t speak much English so he always runs from us. One day we finally caught him and had a discussion with him. He then realized that we were trying just as hard to communicate with him in Shona, as he was trying with us in English. We began to teach him with his brother, and we later found that he’s had a pretty rough life. A smoker and a drinker, and has been to jail twice. Well he’s off parole, but still hadn’t gotten his life turned around. After our first lesson with him he promised to come to church with his wife and he came! He didn’t understand much at church, or during our lessons, but you could just tell how hard he was trying by the look in his eyes. He would just stare at you trying to grab every word he could. Well a few weeks down the road we taught him about the Word of Wisdom. He then explained to us his addiction to smoking, he would smoke about 15 cigarettes a day. But he said since he’s been coming to church, reading the Book of Mormon, and taking the lessons he’d already cut to only one a day without us even telling him that it was bad. He then committed to never smoking again and sure enough he never did. His repentance was so thorough and his joy was just overwhelming. He would always tell us just how happy he was. We then wed him and his wife and baptized them the following Sunday. Our last visit with him I had noticed how much his English has been improving and I asked “Brother Norman your English is so good, how did that happen? He then explained “It’s because of this book (referring to the Book of Mormon) I read it every day”. There is just an indescribable change within him, and his light is just manifest. People in the community are just asking “how did this happen? He looks so different”

Well that’s Norman. He was so happy to be baptized, such a changed man. And the bitter portion for this email is the struggles with transport, UGH. Our car had major issues and on the way to Kwekwe to get it fixed our car had a serious breakdown! We got it towed to Kwekwe and it won’t be fixed for like a week so it’s a LOT of walking these days haha. It’s two Kombi rides to our area and like two nights ago we had to walk home because our lessons were so late and it took like 2 hours! We got home close to 11:00 eish. I don’t know where else the bad news is. It’s kind of hard but you know me, I don’t complain. The work is still the same, still people to teach, still people to find.

Again thanks so much for all of the Birthday wishes! I feel so special, so many miles away from home. Well by the end of this month almost, I’ll be left with six months and you’re already asking me about school in January? Come on I gotta focus! Haha it’s okay but definitely soon I think that discussion will be taking place.

Still working, still praying. Keep the faith!

Much love,
Elder Robison