Hapana

Hey guys,
It’s back to Shona title lines because it totally sums up all of last week. Hapana means “nothing” haha. On Monday we drove to Harare and spent P-day there. Tuesday was zone conference, Wednesday was exchanges with the AP’s in their area, Thursday was interviews with President, Friday was interviews for the zone. Saturday was like the only normal day, but it was pretty dismal. On Sunday it wasn’t exciting to see it so empty! Not more than 30 came to church which was weird. I think it’s because we didn’t go to the are like all week haha. People need us! I guess it’s normal though. That’s missionary work! The ups and downs are all a part of the path to perfection. Sometimes God gives us weakness’s so that we can be humble and learn to put our trust in Him (Ether 12:27).

I know it’s boring since last week was so exciting, but quite honestly that was our whole week. I guess one cool thing is I went on exchanges on Friday with Elder Lin. He’s from Taiwan and can make LEGIT Chinese food. He was so happy when we told him about a Chinese mall in Harare. He brings dumplings to every District meeting. He’s always got a smile, and a joke to tell so he’s a lot of fun to be around. It was also fun walking around the China mall with him because I couldn’t read any of the label’s so I was always like “what’s this?” and then he’s like “that’s wasabi” or something like that haha. I took a picture, so I’ll send it at the end of the email.

Many of you know I’m currently training a new zone leader right now named Elder Silotile. Awesome guy, he’s seriously just a great companion. We love to have discussions on how we can help each other and it always turns in to real bonding moments. He always boasts that he’s going to be the one to kill me (be my last companion), but we’ll see, got one transfer left. Why would I leave though, that’d be lame. I’m loving this place. We’re really doing our best to help the zone out wherever we can.

I’m actually emailing you in Harare right now, for which looks like my 2nd to last MLC meeting. I’m also looking forward to my last zone conference.

I’m always so anxious to get out there everyday and see what the Lord has in store for me, I know that I’m here for a reason. Most of all He sent me here to be Elder Robison, no body else. I love that. I’ve always tried so hard to be myself wherever I’m serving, because that’s just who the Lord needs.

Much love,
Elder RobisonIMG_2225

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Cake Master’s

Hey guys,

So this last week was a really busy one. If you remember I told you about some upcoming baptisms? Well I’ve seen the fruits of my labors and finally we had some baptisms in Trojan! On Saturday, we had 2 weddings! The Muzondo’s and the Bengani’s both had to be wed before they were baptized. Right after the crazy busy and stressful wedding’s we baptized all four of them, and another kid we were teaching. All at once! Serious blessings. It was a great turnout with the member’s showing their support and everyone was very excited and happy to be baptized. It all ended with our converts baring their testimonies and it was super powerful! We’ve worked with these people for a long time, and we’ve seen great changes. Truly humble followers of Christ! Also we’re the ones who baked the cakes for the weddings so thus the lame subject line haha.

Lately my companion has been calling me President Robison because literally, if anything happens in this branch it’s only because I take charge and remind people of their duties or take care of it myself. That crazy stressful wedding and baptism was completely organized by us without any support. Even to have anything else happen. We haven’t been having Priesthood session at church, so I had to finally say something about cutting Sunday School short so we can have it. No one from the branch presidency knows how to confirm people, and I find my self constantly reminding the branch president and his counselors about having a PEC meeting and branch council meeting. I swear nothing would happen in this branch if we weren’t there haha. Since I’ve been here I’ve seen this branch grow from only 7 people coming to church, to now having over 60 and not even having enough chairs to sit everyone. Even after our successful 5 baptisms, we had another 5 investigators show up at church on Sunday, 4 of which were father’s! We were so excited to see who we saw yesterday. The work here never stops!

Nothing exciting happened except for the wedding and baptism. I’m so grateful for these wonderful individuals who have come so far.

To end I guess I’ll share something that I’ve been studying. In 3 Nephi there’s great conflict. The captain for the Nephites is Gidgidoni and he is sad because the people were very wicked. Gidgidoni knew the Nephites would not be spared except if they repented. He told the people of his concerns and they listened. The people again began to depend on the Lord. When the enemies were approaching the city to attack they looked very fearsome, but the Nephites were not afraid of them. These next few verses are so cool.

8 And it came to pass that the armies of the Nephites, when they saw the appearance of the army of Giddianhi, had all fallen to the earth, and did lift their cries to the Lord their God, that he would spare them and deliver them out of the hands of their enemies.
9 And it came to pass that when the armies of Giddianhi saw this they began to shout with a loud voice, because of their joy, for they had supposed that the Nephites had fallen with fear because of the terror of their armies.
10 But in this thing they were disappointed, for the Nephites did not fear them; but they did fear their God and did supplicate him for protection; therefore, when the armies of Giddianhi did rush upon them they were prepared to meet them; yea, in the strength of the Lord they did receive them.
May we all face opposition with hope, and cry to the Lord for supplication. We do not need to fear our trials nor our hardships, but fear God and love Him by keeping His commandments. The Nephites knew how important it was to be on the Lord’s side, we need to take courage and stand for truth and righteousness when faced with opposition.

Cool scripture. Thanks for reading haha.

Much love,
Elder Robison

 

Umfurudzi

Hey guys,

Yeah so Umfurudzi is the name of the game park we went to yesterday! Someone told us that it’s right before you get to Shamva, whicIMG_2140IMG_2163IMG_2174IMG_2186h is only 27Km’s out of Bindura. It was kind of last second, but off we went! We get halfway to Shamva and it’s like “where did the road go?”… Wilderness! To cut the story short we found the road again (quite possibly one of the worst roads) and headed to the park. When we get to Shamva we’re met by a T junction. Left goes to Shamva and so we’re like “let’s go!” When we get there we asked someone where it was and they’re like “It’s 15km’s up the road. Okay! So we head there and then see a sign that says “Umfurudzi in 50km’s”… Lame! So still determined, we get to the park (which I swear was more than 50km’s away). At the entrance we pay our fee’s and they’re like “okay, go 10km’s down this road and you’ll find our headquarter’s and they’ll set you up”. Goodness! So we get there and we were told to look for someone named Admire. There was no one there so we went on to look for him and we found where all of the employee’s live. We ask for Admire and he was sleeping! So we sit down and ask him some question’s like what can we see and we ask “any lion’s?… nope”, “any rhino’s?… nope” COME ON WADYA HAVE! He says they have everything else so we continue with our journey. We got to do the game drive with our truck so that was cool. Within 5 minutes we see Kudu, Impala, and Buffalo. You know, just the common stuff. For the next 45 minutes there’s nothing! Empty! So lame!

At the end of the game drive we made it to a place called “Hippo Pools” We’re like “okay cool, let’s go see some hippo’s. We get there and we were greeted by one of the guides. We sit down in his office and he’s like “how can I help you?”… “we came to see the hippo’s?… Do you have any?” He pauses, looks a little confused then says “mmmm, yeah uhuh yeah. we have 5 hippo’s.Pfff hahaha. 5 Hippo’s?! They were in the big river so I ask “is there a chance that we might not see the hippo’s?” Then he says yes… oh no. Anyways we ended up actually spotting the hippo’s. To end our trip we didn’t see any animals on the way back, we got stuck in some sand, and missed the turn to Bindura by about 40km’s so we almost ran out of fuel in the middle of nowhere! Fun trip, but I don’t think I wanna go back haha.

Sorry for the exhausting story, but it actually explains why I’m writing to you today. Because we missed the turn we got back super late, and so I asked President if we could write today and he said yes.

We’ve got 5 people on date to be baptized this Saturday and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s Brother and Sister Muzondo, Brother and Sister Bengani, and Brother Tichauna Gwekwe.

Small miracle happened, we were teaching the Muzondo’s and Sister Muzondo has been facing some issues and we were even uncertain about baptizing her this Saturday. She doesn’t seem to enjoy the lesson’s or church as much as Brother Muzondo does, we think Brother Muzondo has been kind of pushing her. Recently we taught them about the Word of Wisdom. It turns out the Brother Muzondo used to smoke, and Sister Muzondo hated that. He said he stopped from the first time we met him and hasn’t smoked one since. We explained the Word of Wisdom to them and SIster Muzondo was super happy. So happy, I can’t even explain. She was so motivated to come to church last Sunday.

We still have our challenges, everyone does. We find joy in the little things and are comforted in knowing that we are laying a foundation for generation’s to come. Our Sunday’s aren’t exactly normal, the country is going through a really tough time, and I’m getting trunkier and trunkier every week because you keep telling me you can’t wait to see me! hahaha. I’m just kidding, that last part doesn’t really effect me đŸ˜‰

Keep up the good fight.

Much love,
Elder Robison

Trojan Rescue Team!

Hey guys,

Well it was another productive week in Trojan. Lot’s of people to see and there’s still work to be done. I think after 7 long weeks we have successfully created a model area. With enough member’s to strengthen, less actives to visit, and investigators to teach. I’ve really got nothing to complain about. We’ve come up with plenty of ways to try to strengthen this branch and success is only imminent. We actually organized a gospel study class at a member’s home in Manhenga. Manhenga is kind of far from the chapel but there are a number of less active member’s up there. The class is designed in such a way to strengthen member’s who are already there, and invite new people who would be interested in attending. Bonus, we get lunch afterwards haha. She actually fed us because I asked “Hey is there any place where we could get a nice lunch?” She’s like “Don’t worry! Give me 45 minutes and I’ll have something for you!” We went and taught someone then came back. She makes some dang good mashed potatoes! Her name is Sister Rupenga, sweet mama.

A big reason I actually named this email the way I did is because last Sunday I, my companion, the first and second counselor, and the Sunday School president all went together to search for lost sheep! It was so touching to see people’s faces light up after not seeing members or missionaries for a long time. There was one Brother Kapunga who started crying when he saw us. He was just this old man tucked far away in his farm. It was an experience that I won’t soon forget.

There’s a cool scripture that all of this reminds me of. You know, it’s sad when people are no longer coming to church, and it’s about time we did something about it (because I organized it haha). In Alma 17 Ammon is protecting the king’s flocks then they get scattered by the robber’s. The servants become scared, then he says these words of encouragement.

31 And it came to pass that he flattered them by his words, saying: My brethren, be of good cheer and let us go in search of the flocks, and we will gather them together and bring them back unto the place of water; and thus we will preserve the flocks unto the king and he will not slay us.

32 And it came to pass that they went in search of the flocks, and they did follow Ammon, and they rushed forth with much swiftness and did head the flocks of the king, and did gather them together again to the place of water.

Tomorrow is MLC so I’m writing to you from Harare. I got to play 1on1 with Elder Gunther today at basketball. It was so sick. I lost, but it was close. We’re both a little rusty haha.  We always reminisce of the glory days. 

Well it’s always a joy telling you about my work, not much time left so I’ve gotta give it all I can!

Much love,
Elder RobisonIMG_0665

12 Week!

Hey guys,

Well I’m officially in my 12 week! When you enter the mission field
you go through 12 weeks of training with your trainer. When
missionaries leave they go through their 12 week again except it’s how
much your left with haha. It’s just a funny joke, but man time has
seriously flown. I can’t believe how fast it’s all been. So many
experiences, so much that I’ve learned. Well I’m not done yet, still
work to do. My companion Elder Kunene finished his mission today. I
get my new companion in the afternoon, I’m just with some other
missionaries until he arrives. His name is Elder Silotile. So my
previous companion was a Zulu from South Africa, now my next one is
Cosa, also from South Africa. I’ll be training him on how to be a zone
leader, then pass the torch when I leave.

Wow what a week where do I start. Well to start off the branch is
really improving. I’m really starting to develop a great relationship
with some of the member’s here. The branch presidency is kicking it up
a notch and we’re finding great success in bringing less actives back
in to the fold. We still have two couples on date to get married and
baptized on the 22nd of July and I can’t wait! It’s the Muzondo’s and
the Bengani’s. Sweet people. Every time we go over to teach them they
have the biggest grins ever. They’re progressing quite nicely and it’s
my hope and prayer that they will continue to do so even when I leave.

Can I also say I have the COOLEST area ever. We just keep finding cool
stuff! I’m pretty sure that I found the Garden of Eden at a dam, and
we were also taken to a monument similar to great zimbabwe… in our
area! It’s a lot smaller but super cool! It’s called Chisvingo. I’ll
send some pictures at the end of the email.

Well I’ve been reading the war chapters in Alma, so there isn’t much I
could share. There is one scripture I guess I could share from my
studies though. In Alma chapter 49 Moroni and his brethren had been
battling the Lamanites and had some victories, while in the meantime
Helaman was still preaching the word of God, it says…

30 Yea, and there was continual peace among them, and exceedingly
great prosperity in the church because of their heed and diligence
which they gave unto the word of God, which was declared unto them by
Helaman, and Shiblon, and Corianton, and Ammon and his brethren, yea,
and by all those who had been ordained by the holy order of God, being
baptized unto repentance, and sent forth to preach among the people.

These people had continual peace, and great blessings because of their
“heed” and “diligence” to the word of God. My guess is that these
people had great faith in the Lord, and were very earnest with their
efforts in keeping His commandments. This is exactly what caused such
great peace and prosperity. In the following chapters it even says
that there were never a happier people among the people of Nephi since
the days of Nephi. I know keeping the commandments can be hard, and
sometimes demanding, but I promise they can be our pathway to peace.
They are there to help us and guide us through this difficult life.

I delight in my trials, and glory in my Savior. This is His work, and
I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it every day.

Much love,
Elder RobisonIMG_2106IMG_2121IMG_2133

I’m on a Moun’n!

Hey guys,

Wow what an incredible week. The Lord has showered us with blessings,
and we’re finding great success with new investigators. There’s this
farm called Nyanewe and it runs along the basin of a strip of small
mountains. We have some investigators there but it looks like we only
scratched the surface! We decided to hike the mountain and guess what?
People are there! My companion was like “Ah, these creatures are
everywhere!” Haha (inside joke). We actually found lot’s of former
investigators and they stopped coming to church simply because the
missionaries stopped visiting them! Well these humble people were very
prepared, and very happy to see missionaries again. Some of them came
to church on Sunday with their families so it was sweet. As we were on
top of the mountain we found breathtaking views of the valley we
cover. It’s down right beautiful out here. I kept turning to my
companion as we looked down the valley and I kept saying “Elder,
that’s our area.” It’s unreal.

With patience we’re finding success in our area, and the rebuilding of
the branch is under way! We were really soaking it all in that night
as we sat around a camp fire at a member’s house, eating possibly the
best sadza I’ve ever had. There’s an outstanding family hear called
the Gwekwe family, who I’ll tell you all about in the next email. We
really love serving and visiting them.

The Lord is preparing this place, as he has promised, “I will go
before thy face, and make the crooked path’s straight.” I believe in
miracles, and I believe they happen according to our faith. Which
means we gotta go out and look for em’!

It’s the last week in the transfer and next week I’ll be left with 12 weeks!

Well I gotta sign out now, I’m goin’ for a hike!

Much love,
Elder Robison

 

 

IMG_2057IMG_2064IMG_2054 (1)IMG_2068 (1)

Bindura Baller’s!

Hey guys,

So according to the headlines a lot of ballin’ has been happening.
Last Monday we went to a nearby University and played a pick up game
with some students and an old China man! After the game we invited him
to church and he said he’d come! So sick! I’m so bad at basketball
now! The next Saturday we were invited to play against some guys in
our DL’s area. They invited investigators to come play and it was
quite the turnout! I was still pretty bad, but it was a lot of fun! We
were then invited to play today against Bindura high school in a
scrimmage, we’re going to get destroyed! I mean, I hope not. We’ve
actually been winning our games haha. After every game we always just
talk to them and casually invite them to church or have discussions
with the missionaries, it’s a really great experience.

Trojan is still kind of an issue. People just aren’t comin’ out to
church! Members and non members alike. We’re really pushing it now! A
blessings to our patience we’ve been invited to attend the nearby
farm’s shed meeting. It’s where the whole community discusses issues
and we’ve been given some space to introduce ourselves in two weeks!
It’ll be so cool, and I think it’ll really help with the situation
that’s going on right now. People will have the chance to meet us and
know what we’re really about. It actually came as a blessing of
service. Last Saturday we offered to help one of our members in his
farm to collect his chibage. We loaded some bags in to the back of a
cart pulled by two big cows! On the way back we rode the cart and it
was just sweet! After helping him out is when we discovered he is
actually a village chief and wants us at the next shed meeting. Yes!
It’s unplanned service opportunities like these that can really build
trust and confidence with the members.

Well we don’t really have a lot of interesting things happening with
our investigators at the moment Things are kind of slow. I’ll let you
know when we have some upcoming baptisms! I know that despite the
disappointments we’re facing right now, we’re laying a foundation for
a brighter future with this branch. Because this area is probably my
last, I’m doing my best that I leave it all on the floor and have no
regrets.

Stay blessed and remember to keep pressing forward!

Much love,
Elder Robison

Trojan and stuff like that.

Hey guys,

Sorry for the dumb headline, it’s kind of an inside joke haha.

Well I guess it was a pretty cool week. The weather is nice, still
finding new investigators. I really can’t complain. We are now
starting to meet in the community center in Trojan instead of Bindura
town now which is a blessing. Except for the fact that the community
center looks like it was built in the 50’s! Haha it’s pretty run down.
It’s got lot’s of rooms so we’re not the only church who uses that
place. During our meeting you’ll hear people praying, speaking in
tongues, singing and clapping hands and stuff haha. It’s not terribly
loud but it’s definitely a nuisance. There were only about 30 members
in attendance and we started an hour late sooo I think some changes
are in order. I also had to teach the young men which was funny. I
totally wasn’t expecting it. I just taught them about faith. Just
opened the scriptures and stuff. Do you know how hard it is to talk
about faith for 45 minutes? Haha, it’s okay it all worked out. I think
there was a little bit of miscommunication about the changes so next
week will be better.

I’ve tried to show members how much of a miracle it is that we’re now
meeting in Trojan again. We even got approval to build a chapel there!
Then members are just like “ok”. I’m just like “okay? Okay?! Yeah this
is great news! Why aren’t you excited?” It’s irritating but I’m trying
to teach a certain principle here. In D&C 130:20-21 it says ” There is
a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this
world, upon which all blessingsare predicated— And when we obtain any
blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is
predicated.”

God is a God of miracles. I have seen those miracles in my life
everyday. I’m here to testify that when we are obedient to God’s
commandments blessings will follow. God has been side by side with us
in this great work in Trojan. He knows it’s struggles, and He knows
the hearts of all the members. I know that as we continue to press
forward with all diligence, we can do even greater miracles here.

I realized I haven’t sent anything spiritual for a while so there ya
go. I’m still pressing forward, I don’t doubt this is God’s work.

Much love,
Elder Robison

Bindurrr!!!

Hey guys,

So it’s been a heck of a weak! I’ll start off with one miracle that
happened on Saturday. There was a woman we contacted a while ago named
Mai Tino. We didn’t know how interested she was, but something kept
telling us to look for her. She lives in the depths of a village
called Manhenga like 45 minutes drive away from church. It’s a dollar
for a transport there, then a dollar back. Let me just tell you this
woman is my hero! We finally were able to meet with her. She lives in
a tiny room with two of her little sons. Her story is that she
actually has 6 children, and her husband ran away for her her to just
fend for herself. After the lesson she promised to come to church
before we could even invite her. She was so prepared! No one from that
side even comes to church because it is just so dang far! On Sunday
she was right on time! She is my hero!

More miracles! Trojan branch has been a struggle because Trojan is far
from town and that is where we meet for services. The branch is dead
haha. We had about 20 come to church last Sunday. It’s been like this
for some months, but that very day one humble soul decided to give the
sacrifice that other’s couldn’t, so Trojan is now going to meet in
Trojan again! It’s a miracle. And soon they’re going to start work on
a chapel! Yes! Prayers have been answered, and dreams fulfilled. No
excuses now haha. Everyone’s gotta come back to church!

A little bit of the fun side is we went fishing this morning haha.
Sooo siiick. The water was infested with crocs, and we had an old man
show us how it’s done! Bucket list Check!

Have Miracles ceased?! Moroni thinks otherwise!

Don’t doubt! Only believe!

Much love,
Elder Robison

Hey, hey!

Hey guys,

Short email! Sorry but last week was transfers and today I’m in Harare
for MLC so Pakaipa! Everything in Bindura is great. It’s super
beautiful there. Lot’s of mountains and lakes and rivers and stuff.
Pictures really don’t suffice. I’ll have to send you a bunch next week
because I didn’t bring my flash! My new companion is called Elder
Kunene from South Africa. Really cool guy, going home next transfers
haha. I’m back in a truck (yeeesss), so life is right now is in 4WD
and full speed ahead!

I really miss you guys, and I apologize for the short email.
Everything is fine and I’m still kicking.

Keep the faith!

Much love,
Elder Robison