Grindin’ it

Hey guys,

Sorry this email will be quite short. Got lots goin’ on today! And not very much to report about my week:(. So life outside of the office just like last week is in full swing! We’ve been putting in a lot of work to build up our teaching pool and find more investigators to come to church. I have seen the hand of the Lord in our efforts and we have found lots of success, but there is still room to improve.
Yesterday we brought in a few different characters to church. We had an ex-convict and a cripple in a wheelchair both show up to church with their wives. It was so sweet! I was so humbled by their sacrifice and magnificent character.
We’ve been doing a lot of driving lately to and from different cities in our zone for interviews. Pretty sweet! It’s kind of annoying sometimes but it’s a good thing! We’re bringing many souls unto Christ! Our goal as a zone for February was set at 45. We’ve got some high hopes!
Anyways today is a day of basketball, and soon we have to head on over to the bus station to pick stuff up for our zone. Life as a ZL is great! I’m loving the work, trying hard to set an example every day. I’m cherishing every moment.
So on Tuesday Elder Ellis from the Area Presidency is coming to instruct us on a few things so that’ll be pretty interesting. Tuesday is also Marin’s birthday! Happy Birthday Marin!!! All grown up! Have you gotten a ride in the stang?! haha.
Things are good, again sorry for the short email, next week I’ll have a little more time. PEACE!

 

Elder Robison

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No sun, just rain…

Hey guys,

So week one out of the office was pretty good. It’s been a little weird not seeing President everyday, but if has been really good for me. I was there for way too long.
So I’m sitting here in what looks like one of the worst internet cafe’s I have ever seen haha. I got the last computer here in the corner next to the manager and the printer. I have a broken chair, the mouse is on top of the computer, and the keyboard is on my lap soooo bare with me for the simplicity of this email haha. But I have soo much to tell you about this week! First off it was raining like my whole first week and continues to go on and off so the roads are suuuper muddy. So I no longer have a truck so it’s been a lot of walking, in the mud! I got so excited when I strapped on my tracting boots for the first time in like forever.
There is also a sweeeet Schwarma place just down the road, it is sooo good. I paid for it with the only currency that I have which is bond notes. Last time my entire $140 Allotment came to me in 2 note bond notes haha. It’s just a massive stack of green! It doesn’t really effect me. As long as I can buy groceries and buy everything that I need to I’m fine.
Also can I say this place has the sickest branch president! My previous 2 companions have served here and they just said the same thing, “You’re going to love your branch president”. This branch is under the mission so that means President Mkhabela is the head of this branch as well. President Chiwaka (my new branch president) is like only 28 years old and owns a barber shop haha. He loves helping us and is very organized and focused. He can give the sickest white guy cuts on the block.
The members here are also very tender and sweet and are more than willing to help us out to find people to teach. It’s really just watching a miracle at work, watching the Lord work through these members as we just teach the lessons. Elder Mtetwa’s converts are the sweetest. The dad is a spy for the police, and is already a second counselor in the branch presidency.
Another sweet thing about Kadoma is basketball! They have a nice chapel here with a full size basketball court outside! The members and us play basketball there every Monday.
One crazy thing that happened this week that just humbled me to the core was a some members that we visited last week. We had to park the car like a mile away because the road leading to their house turned in to a running river. So we pushed ourselves through the muggy swamp as we raced to our appointment that night that we had made with the Kantaza family. When we get there it’s just a very humble home of a miner family. They see us and feel so bad about our pants and socks and shoes so they insisted on washing them for us! They gave us pants, and socks to borrow, and polished our shoes to perfection! I was so touched, that a family with so little would commit such simple sacrifice. It really taught me a lesson about humility.It reminded me of the words from King Benjamin…

In Mosiah 4:11 it says… “And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.”

Well life is good and I am enjoying missionary work every day.

Much love,

Elder Robison

HAR—>KAD

IMG_1810Hey guys,

Well it took a while, but after 6 long transfers, and 9 long months, the time has finally come. I’m leaving the office. I have served my purpose, and I did it with all of my heart. I’ll be leaving Harare to go to a town called Kadoma about 2 hours from here, and my new companion will be Elder Blignaut. Well since I’ve been here I’ve learned a lot, and I’m grateful for being given the opportunity to serve in such marvelous capacities. It was hard at times, but I’m glad I saw it through and persevered. I’ll be re-assuming my position as zone leader in charge of a zone that just got 8 new additional sister missionaries… eish. Haha I’m sure I’ll be fine. President explained to me his decision making in to why he needs me there. Suffice it for me to say it was just my time, and President needs my leadership elsewhere. It’s a zone that has been struggling of late, my job is to give it a boost and to hopefully turn all of these mission branches where I’m serving in to a District! My zone is kind of spread, it’s between three cities (you can look them up if you want), Chegutu, Kadoma, and Kwekwe. I hope I can live up to the expectations that President has of me.

So my week has been pretty good. The Carrells came, so they’ll be taking over office duties from now on. The Assistants are back to a lot more proselyting time which is good. I really am going to miss this ward though. All of the Mexican food, and sweet, humble people that have made my missionary experience here so enjoyable. I’m going to miss the Chitima’s, and the Thomas’. Really these two families are what made my stay here such a delight. It’s a shame that I won’t be able to see them progress, but this is missionary work, no room for complaints.

One awesome experience happened last week at church. So it was fast a testimony Sunday and people were all taking turns bearing their testimony. Presiding at the meeting was Elder Dube from the Seventy! The only Zimbabwean area seventy! (And my new zone covers his hometown). Anyways at the meeting Brother Thomas got up in his new suit. He just boldly walked up their in his tennis shoes and sat in the back waiting for his turn. As he began to speak I immediately began to feel the Holy Ghost. He testified of the reality of Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon; and of how much the book, and this church has blessed his life immensely. When he closed he explained he was still learning, but he will continue learning until the day he dies. Then he closed by saying “that is my first testimony… in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen”. Everyone was just so stunned and amazed. When he took his seat Elder Dube got up to finish the meeting with his closing testimony. He called Brother Thomas and told him “I’ve been in the church for 31 years, and I’m still learning. So don’t worry Brother Thomas, we’re in this together”. Brother Thomas’ testimony was so profound, so sweet. I’ll never forget the time that I spent here.

WELL I guess you’ll have to start writing to me on Sundays again, I’m a normal missionary now haha. Not that I wasn’t a missionary before, it was just different. I can’t wait too see what the Lord has in store for me, I’ve still got some time so don’t expect any slack from me!

Much Love, Elder Robison

Loooong Week With a Fresh Ending

Hey guys,

Well what can I say, not a lot happened this week. A lot more errands to run, and a lot more things to do to close this transfer. We had MLC last week and it was really good. We set goals for the year of 2017 and tried to see where we could improve as a mission. As a mission last year we had 1818 baptisms, which beat last years record of 1796, and we did it with half as many missionaries :). Yeah we reeaally pushed ourselves this year, and as a result, we saw some pretty great miracles. For the upcoming transfers President wants to focus on some other areas that haven’t received much attention so we should be seeing some results really soon.

Like I said it was a pretty long week, and a lot of things going on at once, but nothing really worthy of mentioning. After my long week, it was Friday night, after countless hours of standing up or driving, we had a break. After pondering about the week in the office, I turned to my companion and said, “we need to go and see someone”. He said “who do you want to see?” After calling about 3 different investigators or recent converts they all said they were busy and would have to wait until next week. I was a little bit disappointed, but then I turned to one last phone number in my phone. I turned to my companion and said “what about Vanessa? Perfect.” So I called her then what do you know she was very available and really wanted to see us. She was baptized clear back in June, and has been coming to church ever since, but sometimes leaves the country so she hasn’t been around for some time. In our previous appointment with her we challenged her to read the entire Book of Mormon in a year, kind of like you guys! To our disappointment we found she hadn’t been reading at all. So we took the whole hour with her just reading from the Book of Mormon. As we were reading questions arose, and I could just see the light coming from her eyes as she read. The chapter had answered many questions that she had, and reading with her gave her a new spark and desire to continue on her own. I’m grateful for the Book of Mormon and the power that it has. I’m even more grateful to be a witness everyday of the power and influence that it has in others lives.

So it was a long week, but it ended on a good note. Actually all of the stress and work has chipped away like 2Kg’s which I’m so grateful for, but it’s not the healthiest way to get it done. I know this work to be true, and I’m ever thankful for the experiences that I’ve been given, and for the light that He has given me in this spiritual journey

“For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other—either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil, of which I have spoken.”

House Hunting

Hey guys,

My oh my am I tired. So it was a lot of driving this week, plus a lot of things to do to get ready for the upcoming transfer. Out of the blue President decides that 3 new areas need to be opened and we need houses for all three, plus two more houses for already existing areas. My objective was to find and prepare all of these houses before the upcoming transfer on the 17th of January. Impossible?! Maybe! But I’m just going to do my best and see how it goes.

The whole process just takes forever. I have to find a house then get the landlord to agree to our lease so that we can start leasing it as soon as possible. Then we have to furnish the place and make sure everything is in place for the missionaries to move in. Finding these houses also included a lot of driving! More road trips! On Wednesday we drove all the way down to Kwekwe to see about renting 2 houses. Well it was a total mess, but as soon as we were finally able to come to agreements with the landlords our work was done. My companion actually completed law school before he came on a mission so that really helped. Then I told him how much of a Monopoly master I was and he just said “your’re on” haha. Yeah doing this business has really opened my eyes. After our trip we returned to the office the next day and Elder Selcho just said, “I don’t know how ya did it, to be your age and doing these things really astounds me”. It actually astounds me as well because it has really caught my attention. Although I didn’t always know it, real estate has really peaked my interest. I dunno maybe it’s something to think about for when I get home.

Well unfortunately I have to meet with a landlord NOW and have to take care of a whole lot of other stuff today, so my pday is kinda wasted. It’s okay though, business keeps me happy. As long as I’m doing the right thing I’m all good. I hope I got to answer all of your questions when I skyped on Sunday. I really loved the card board cut out! Please keep that for me haha.

Anyways I’m sorry this email is short, but duty calls. Hope you have a good week, and a happy new year!

Christmas Box!

Hey guys,

‘Tis the day before Christmas! Christmas isn’t quite as big here which is kinda sad, but oh well. After last years Christmas it’s not like I could expect much. But this year’s Christmas is a little better! I actually got quite a number of gifts from office staff, investigators, members and contractors! And my package came! I was sooo happy! Last year I treated my self with a can of soup, this year that’s gonna change. I’ve really gotten past feeling about Christmas though, I mean I’ve already missed it once. This year is a little easier for me, last year it hit me hard.

Nothing really interesting happened this week. President was out of town conducting interviews and we were just preparing the office for people to Skype home. This time around we have a lot of Americans in the field so we’ll have a lot of people who will want to Skype.

Yesterday I was so over excited! Minutes after my package came I turned around the corner to my desk I saw a big present full of food for me! Thank you Elder a Sister Selcho! I just threw myself in to Elder Selcho’s office and gave him a big hug. I’m just so full of GOOD right now, I feel like I could just buy someone anything. I really should give some gifts in return, or even share mine because we got waaaay too much chocolate. I can really start to feel that difference between giving and receiving gifts from people. I have found that there is just as much, if not more joy from giving gifts rather than receiving them. Recently in my scripture studies I’ve really tried to find the meaning of the word joy and examples of people feeling that “joy”. I’ve tried to understand how I can feel that joy, and what I can do to have that joy with me always. I found so many heartwarming stories, and I so badly wanted to find out “what makes me happy”. Over my last 15 months of being on a mission I’ve found that I’m most happy when I lose myself in serving others, and making others smile. When I share our special message about Jesus Christ I love the presence of the Spirit, and the familiarity of that feeling in others hearts. I loved lighting the world! It was a special experience, and it’s one that I’ll never forget.

“Fear not: for I bring you good tidings of great JOY”

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my JOY might remain in you, and that your JOY might be full.”

“And for this cause ye shall have fulness of JOY; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your JOY shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of JOY; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one;”

And just for the heck of it, I’ll just share with you my favorite scripture…

“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.”IMG_1739

#LightMutare

Hey guys,

So last week was a pretty crazy one for sure, and it started with more Christmas Devotionals. On Wednesday Bindura and Marimba zones had their devotional, then Thursday it was for Harare East and Mutare. Now Mutare was originally supposed to come to Harare for their devotional, but literally only the day before President was inspired to do something else. We changed all of our plans to head to Mutare which is about 250km away, and brought Harare East zone with us. After only one missionary vehicle accident arriving to Mutare we had our Christmas devotional, and I and my companion and two sisters had a piece! We sang “Come, Lord Jesus Come” from “Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World”. I brought my guitar and President really enjoyed it.

After the devotional the real fun began, we lit up Mutare! The real reason we brought everyone to Mutare was so that we could just flood the streets with flyers and pass along cards. The perception and image of the church in Mutare is really poor, President just felt so motivated to go down there and flood this light to the streets of Mutare. In fact he was so motivated he even lead the way haha. As our group of like 50 missionaries walked down the streets together President was stopping every Kombi and passenger in sight, telling them about the church. The objective of this trip was to get the idea of this being a “satanic church” out of their heads. So I made sure that every conversation I had, I used the name Jesus Christ and testified of his Divinity and love for all mankind. It was sooo much fun too see the work of God unfold in such a beautiful place.

The next day we did what President calls “Hit the streets!’ in another part of Mutare, and we had extra forces! We brought ANOTHER zone from Harare to join with us this day and we just walked every street we could telling people about the church. At the devotional President stated that we are “at war”. So we geared up and gave it every thing we had.

I and my companion actually did something rather funny. We saw a maaaasssive wedding taking place at a conference center. The main event was a loud sermon being given by a feminine evangelist. We just looked at each other and said “we have nothing to lose”. So I just confidently walked in to the complex and started giving people pamphlets haha. By the time I reached the doors to the main center where the preaching was happening I started telling the ladies who worked there about Jesus Christ. They were so confused! They were like “uh can’t you hear we’re listening to the gospel?” So I just boldly testified about Christ and his restored church, then they as I tried forcing my way in they just kicked me out hahahaha. SO SICK! I don’t think I had ever felt so alive! I think they were kind of angry that I would be confident enough to do something like that. Well I’m not ashamed, nor am I afraid of the message we share. This gospel is centered on Jesus Christ and he is our Savior. I love Him with all of my heart and I feel so privileged to testify of Him every day. Much like what Moroni says in Moroni 1:3 “I will not deny the Christ”. Maybe barging in to a wedding wasn’t the best idea, but I think what I was trying to accomplish was to prove to myself that the message that I share can be shared with anyone, never fearing and never doubting.

So that was my week, full of adventure! The drive was long and the work took place on Saturday so that’s why I wrote to you today.

Light the world!

Transfersssssss, and Zimbo Christmas!!!

Hey guys,

Man it was a hectic week for real. This week all of the new missionaries came in and everything went wrong. The missionaries flights were delayed, and the bus that was bringing in the trainers to pick the new missionaries up broke down, ugh. Nothing really went right, but I guess part of what being a leader about is proper planning, and decision making. You gotta kinda be quick on your feet sometimes and just make decisions so that meetings and stuff like that don’t get delayed.
Literally the day after all of those missionaries left is when we had to take off to Gweru for our Christmas Devotional. It was actually really fun! We had the respective zones prepare presentations and Choirs, we had a TON of food, and a white elephant gift exchange. You know missionaries, buying toilet paper and cologne and then wrapping it up in pamphlet boxes haha, oh well. That was my last Christmas devotional and thank goodness. That was sooo hectic.
After the devotional we made our way to Bulawayo. After arriving is when we found that there was no where for us to sleep! After the recent transfers the missionary houses were full! We managed to scramble two old mattresses from another flat and sleep on them in a house full of Elders with no fans! Have I ever told you how hot Bulawayo is? It’s blazing! It’s a scorching desert! Well the fun had to end and so we actually drove back to Harare today. We just had to take care of a few errands in the morning and then we were gond, about 6 hours to Harare.
Like I said in my last email Elder Gunther will be training this transfer and was just super excited. He’s a great missionary.
To end my email I’ll share with you a few things President shared with us at the Christmas Devotional. He really emphasized what we can do as missionaries to emphasize following the example of Jesus Christ. “Jesus Christ healed the sick, and so can you! Elders, you have the Priesthood! Jesus Christ would sometimes walk for days to preach the gospel, with out a car and so can you!” Everyone got kind of a crack out of that one. To end he shared with us a scripture. In 3 Nephi 27:21 The Savior says…

21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;

Well I guess I’ll be talking to ya soon, stay safe, and Happy Holidays!
Much love, 

Elder Robison

A very spiritual week

Hey guys,

Well you can tell by the title of the email that indeed, my week was full of spiritual experiences. One of them being the baptism of the Chitima family, and Brother Thomas! He was just so happy that day. Through hard work, and extreme perseverance he smoked his last cigarette and entered the waters of baptism! The testimony of both Brother Chitima and Brother Thomas were so sincere, and so heartwarming. Brother Thomas’ wife was crying the whole time, she was just so overwhelmed with joy. People always say “we haven’t had this many baptisms in years!” We had huge support from the Ward the whole time, and the whole experience was just so special to me.
Today is also another crazy day, so my email is going to be a bit short but as I’m writing to you guess who entered the room? Elder Hamilton from the Area Presidency! This weekend the Harare Stake is splitting in to two and two new Stake Presidents will be called! The interviews were being done here at the office earlier today for the new Stake Presidents, so as I’m just writing here comes this man with a big grin on his face and says “Hello Elders! Good to see you!” It totally caught me off guard.
Well today is kind of a weird P-day. We had to take some people to the hospital, more missionaries were involved in car accidents. All of this happening at the same time as we’re trying to finalize the transfer sheet and the logistics before we send it out today! I’ll be able to see Elder Gunther for the first time in like forever. He’s been down in Bulawayo this whole time. He’s going to come to Harare to receive instruction on how to become a trainer!
Well things are really kicking in with the Christmas initiative and it’s getting lively down here. Our missionaries have gotten really excited about it and are passing those cards out everyday trying to share the Saviors light. It was even announced on the radio repeatedly what were trying to do, the members got really excited about that. What’s happening in Zimbabwe actually reminds me of an actual candle. That candle lighting other candles creating a chain reaction in lighting the whole world. I’ve gotten really excited about it.
Well that’s it for this week. By the way bond notes have finally come out. The lines at the banks haven’t gotten any shorter, and life for Zimbabweans hasn’t gotten any easier. I wanted to send you a picture of what they look like but I ended up spending them as soon as I got them, because they’re inflating already :/. I bet you could just look them up on the internet.
Anyways have a great week, see you on Christmas! Don’t forget to share your light!
Much love,
Elder Robison

Zimbabwe Harare Mission
65 Enterprise Rd
Zimbabwe, Harare
PS I always forget to tell you, did you know my companion knows Derrick Harris?! He served in my companion’s ward in Kenya, Athi River Ward hahah
PPS I have pictures of the baptism but they’re on another camera! I’ll see if I can send them tomorrow.

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