Mission Time In Cebu

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Halloween!

YAY!! Thanks for the bday present...im soooo excited!!!!! I have ONE thing to look forward too....other then seeing you guys. One of my investigators looked up Courtney’s facebook, they said she’s sexy kaajo....haha. Thank you for writing s. honey I really am so grateful for her and miss her soo much, I looked for her everywhere last Thursday but only saw jimmy, I asked e.schenk how she is and he’s like she is SOO nice and I was jealous he gets to see her. I love my Bogo.

So I emailed E. Hardin’s girlfriend (about rooming with her), well see...he’s excited about it so hopefully it works out...it’ll give me an excuse to talk about my mission all the time. I know I’ll be an annoying RM who ALWAYS wants to talk about their mission. Grabeh, I’ll only want to speak visaya too.

So Satan has been attacking me pretty hard. He has been my whole mission, physically, emotionally and spiritually. But lately it’s been with nightmares. I haven’t slept well in about a month. I finally talked to the strounds about it, and they first said that I should feel complimented b/c if things are happening like that it means I’m threatening the other side. We are literally in a war, i have seen and felt satans power. There is also stuff I’ll tell you after the mish b/c i don’t want to cause a scene...but, E. Stroud dedicated our home yesterday and put angels protecting our house, I’m learning what power the priesthood has, I slept like a baby last night :) I’m soo thankful for the priesthood, and to be a soldier in the war...you know how I love opposition, I’m loving fighting this battle everyday, we have doubled the numbers going to church in Calape and are working on converting a whole barungay, but its not us...its the Lord. Every one of my areas is a miracle area, I asked the Lord to put me in the least progressing areas my whole mission, and he's blessed me with that. I've seen miracles beyond what I could have imagined and seen satans side running like scared dogs.

I get to go to Cebu again for training....yay. I love seeing president. I love my mission, actually I have been praying about coming home, and I’m somewhat excited, b/c I feel I have a lot of work to do there. Miracles aren't over. Being a servant and soldier of the war isn't over, its just beginning. The Lord is strengthening me for that. I would not be this strong without my mission. I could have never reached this level of understanding and love for the Gospel w/ out my mission. I know every good thing that will ever happen will be directly from my mission, and not a day will go by I will not think of my love for my mission. Tell grammy NO, I will NEVER run out of enthusiasm for talking about my mission, its the BEST thing and decision I have ever made. It’s who I am and a part of my heart. I feel like the grinch where your heart expands so large it breaks the xray. Thank you mom and dad...for supporting me. I am soo eternally blessed from you two and your examples. Love you carry on, put on your amour and carry your sword of truth and shield of faith everywhere you go.

(Brooke is learning to play the alto saxophone) what???? yes!!!!! I cant wait to hear her. I MISS that saxophone. I’m thinking of soo many summer plans with you guys. Don’t spend too much money on the house, cause we need to go on adventures, I’m such an adventure junkie now. Can u believe I only have 8 weeks left now? I love my mission but I crave your hugs soo much, sometimes it hurts. Being away from my family is definitely the hardest thing about the mish, and I might have a hard time going straight back to school, but I know its the best. So I wont have a car? That’s ok, I don’t need one....and what’s Courtney doing? is she ok after hearing what happened to her friend, jenny. I cried for her....i’m a little sensitive, my tender side has even gotten more evident, I cry for people I don’t even know, I’m a cry baby now. But she’s such a sweet girl and I cant believe that happened to her. I hope she is ok. I hope Courtney is ok. I’ve been thinking about them a lot and praying for her. I’m so blessed your all ok, I worry about you guys all the time, and hope I just come home to my complete healthy happy family.

Mom, I testify about your family all the time to investigators. B/c look at what your life would have been without the gospel. You know that, and I’m realizing that on my mission. What if you would have married someone else other than dad? Our family is AMAZING and soo blessed, b/c of your choices. They tell us here on our mission if you save one mother you save generations and generations. BUT, I’ve been praying about your family they aren’t lost. I hope somehow I can go there. I want to help. I want them to see what the gospel has done for me. I’ve seen Americans here, we’re teaching 2 and they had to hit rock bottom before they came back. I think your like Nephi, he found sadness in the actions of his brothers and he was probably soo alone. The strouds are probably some of the most amazing people I know and they have 10 kids and only 3 are active. I dunno, but they are always in my prayers

Friday, October 21, 2011

October 20th ~ A Visit With Elder Holland

HELLO!!! Well I almost have no time.....I had an amazing time with Elder Holland and saw EVERYONE!!! I had the best time ever, we just got home b/c we had to sleep in the mission home b/c we couldnt catch a boat back in time. oops....

By the way, I might be living with one of the elder's girlfriends at BYU, she lives south of campus, hopefully she emails me, this next week or after b/c she seems cool and like we would get along. Also, YES I want the snowboarding pass...PLEASE thats the only thing ill ask for. i think I can get a student discount...Also, sign me up for those classes and well go from there. When do we have to pay for school? Im still deciding exactly what i want to do.

Can you please, email s. honey, I think shes back in Bogo. I talked to President last night. and Bogo had really decreased....im super upset. I didnt sleep all night last night. I also found out one of my favorite families has basically gone inactive and one of my converts stopped going to church and is smoking again. I dont think i can express how much i love these people....and if only i could just go back and fix everythng. im feeling pretty... whats the word, trapped or limited....Also my first family i baptized...they think they moved away and they are somewhere in bohol and they dont know how they're doing. im really suffering, from hearing this...i know the lord will take care of them, but i found out a lot of my converts are having problems. But then as I was suffering in bed, i remembered all the successes Ive had...like Mabolo is just a baptizing area now and my convert is the ward mission leader, and I have super active converts as branch missionaries giving referrals, and one in the relief society presidency....but I feel .0000001% of what heavenly father feels, it has felt like my heart has been ripped out, b/c these people were soo strong when they were baptized, and I dont know what has happened. im really frustrated i cant go back and find out for myself instead of being told by other missionaries that have almost no information. sorry. i know im usually positive,,,but I have to be honest....i have faith but its still hard.

Calape is still doing great, our branch mission leader, left for his mission, this week...its gonna put a lot more weight on us....and im pretty sure i only have three weeks left.

it was weird seeing all my mission friends, we're like a family....i dont wanna go home. im the one going home first, theyll still all be here, you know i hate being left out. E. Holland was amazing we took a big group photo with him and all shook his hand. even with two months left I still have a long way to go to improve as a missionary. I received amazing revalation in the temple and just feel my eyes are now being opeened to the gospel...i have soo much to share with you.

so....ive been having this fear lately, ive seen a lot of inactive rms on my mission. and have wondered how? after this amazing experience they could go inactive. well E. Holland answered my prayer...he talked about the new preach my gospel program and that truly it is to convert the missionary. Well....i know i am my best new convert. My heart is changed, im beginning to understand what it means to be baptized by fire. I have no disposition to do evil but good continually. I have NO DOUBT this church is true, that joseph smith is a true prophet called by God, and made by the lord to live up to that potential. i know god looks at the inside of our hearts, and loves ALL his children. I know Jesus Christ is our savior and loves us more than we can imagine and if we continue on his pathway we become children of christ through the atonement. I love studying my scriptures, its alive and real. these prophets are real and my example. i am a convert, and the lord has answered my prayer that if i watch and pray continually, and go out every day in my armour of god, i will never fall away. Im no longer worried, cause I know i will never fall away. and you know me if i say im gonna do something. I DO IT!

love you, sorry the email was late.

October 11th ~ General Conference

soo grabeh....dont be scared...haha. But there is a big typhoon coming in tonight, we are preparing 72 hour kits and everything, I hope this isn’t a complication for Holland and we have interviews this week...hopefully. the winds are supposed to reach up to 66 miles per hour. but I know im protected im just worried about my investigators in little huts. The strouds think we're crazy, cause we have been having super heavy rains here and Im too cheap to go out and buy an umbrella so, we just walk around with trash bags and a hole cut out for our heads...haha. also, im too cheap and too big for the shoes here so I’ve had to repair my shoes about 3 or 4 times. and all my clothes are stained and ripped but I only have to hold out for 2 more months so im just gonna be kinda a raggedy ann for awhile, I am in the philippines...haha.

LOVED CONFERENCE....Matthew Richardson...the talk about missionaries, sunday afternoon, was my teacher at BYU, he taught family and marriage relations i loved him, and I was SHOCKED when I heard he was speaking, small world plus we all jumped (all the americans) when we heard about the provo temple!!! WOW@@

so my pday is on thursday next week, so expect your email on wednesday, and I get to go to the temple....its gonna be an amazing experience b/c wow have i increased my understanding for the temple.. if i were to pick my biggest christlike attribute that has been changed, it would be knowledge. I definitely KNOW and love the scriptures. I finally have seen how far I've come b/c I now am able to just quote and pull out scriptures to address our investigator’s concerns. I now see how the BoM answers, every concern, every question and yes a man cannot be saved in ignorance. hours just go by that seem like minutes while im buried in the scriptures, and I know what it is to receive revelation and just have doctrine click for me, it is literally amazing. I love my scriptures, its not boring anymore but the most exciting time while the mysteries of God are being unfolded for me. I’ve been trying to teach sister bosio about it, and to be super diligent in study and she is loving it, we have soo much fun, in our studies. I can’t wait to show you what ive learned. I had an awesome experience the other day while I was teaching about adam and eve. Well I have been having a lot of questions about the whole situation with them. and during our lesson an investigator brought up the same concern. and I sat in silence for a little while. b/c i had had the same question, then all of the sudden "click"!!! It just came to me as I was talking why it had to be like that, and while i was talking I was just like wow....that’s soo true! So its amazing, i still don’t have the gift of patience cause i just study for hours and feel like I have to know everything NOW, i am soo excited to learn, and afraid to go back to school, cause i think i'll wanna study the scriptures instead of my classes.

So General Conference was amazing, and HARD. We got to church after working soo hard the whole week to invite EVERYONE to church, we broke a record with over 400 i2ls and when we got to church, no investigators!!! AHHH!! I literally could not concentrate i was soo distraught and sad, i prayed, “what am i doing wrong? we are obedient, diligent and trying to do everything for you? why?” Then i went to the bathroom I was soo uneasy, and as I returned Robert D. Hales was speaking and he said, trust in the time of the lord...and it was all about trusting in the lord and trials. I was like bitaw, and felt like my prayer had been answered. and my heavenly father spoke to me through his servant and mouthpiece. also, after that session we ran, all the way to the house of our investigator and said GO TO CHURCH! and they came the next session,,,,yay!!! so we have a baptism this week. She’s 9 but her whole family has been reactivated and now are preparing to go to the temple. WOW!! and her father will be receiving the priesthood this sunday and baptizing her, when before, he didn’t even want to go to church or pay his tithing.....I LOVE THIS WORK!!!

so yes im totally freaked out to go home. I love everything about my mission, im especially freaked out b/ i haven’t talked to an american girl my age in like over a year (filipinas are way different and way more relatable for me) I know satan is gonna bombard me. But I have already felt that on my mission, I know he has really tried to stop this work...I have seen him really trying to distract and even physically harm us. But I am confident in the power of god. As I look back on my mission so far, my heart is soo full. Prez. Schmutz described it perfectly in his email. Just like the people during the time of king Benjamin, they only wanted to do good continually, mom please save those emails also, and the ones from pres. hansen, they are really special to me and give me motivation. I have been blessed on my mission. I now know my savior, I love these people. even people I don’t know if I would have loved before my mission. I feel overwhelmed with love sometimes. for everyone even my friends and family that aren’t here.

well I love you all....and for my missionary friends, carry on! dont waste even a minute.

October 4th ~ So Many Miracles!!!

ok....well, I have lived in the philippines, so any apartment will do, It doesnt need to be nice, Im not a spoiled brat anymore...haha. SO this week had been FULL of miracles!!! Grabeh!!!

So the second week in a row, we have had 100+ people at church, when I first got here, we averaged 50...this branch is a MIRACLE, I’m still in shock, complete shock. I feel the love of the Lord so evidently, I actually felt yesterday while i was walking that i was enveloped in the love that my heavenly father has for me. its absolutely amazing. Pres. schmutz came to our branch last week and he was amazed too, apparently he told s. schmutz i cant go home, and i was like i would love that, but once again they told me, “ sister robison, YOU NEED TO MOVE ON”...haha. But as for miracles, we should have a baptism this next week, her name is daisy and shes 9 years old...but what is amazing, is her family before was somewhat less active and now they are soo strong and her father is going to get the priesthood and baptize her, they’ve been practicing which is soo cute...and its been a long journey with her, so pray nothing hinders her baptism this upcoming week.

2nd miracle, we had a csp harvesting rice in a community of people that weren’t what you would call open to the church b/c of a lot of gossip and untrue sayings....well lets just say the lord does soften hearts, after they saw a white girl and filipina missionary working along side them in the heat and not complaining about the itchiness or dirt and having a good time laughing and getting to know the people, everyone LOVES us now. we have soo many new investigators from that area now, EVERYONE greets us and loves to talk to us, yesterday we had a lady that took my hand and introduced me to every single person she knew...haha. we had a TON of i2ls.

we had an amazing experience the other week. Well you know, there are no bathrooms here, so I really had to go pee. and so i told s. bosio im going to find a place to pee...and she’s like what are you doing...b/c i just started trudging through the mud...what she didn’t know, and i didn’t completely understand is that i needed to go in that direction, i didn’t know why i just though i had a feeling there was a place to go pee over there. well all the sudden this lady comes out and asks what we are doing and i told her i needed to pee and she’s like you can go over there...they had a little place covered by towels and you can pee between the floor boards, so while i went about my business s.bosio talked to her and when i came out we asked if we could teach her...she’s like yes of course! after the lesson she cried, she said she’s never felt this was before she feels all light in her chest, she said when she saw us walking she felt that feeling and had to come out of the house and see who we were...we told her that was the spirit. She is continuing and we’re teaching about 6 other b/c of this and they are progressing and want to come to church. WOW...thank you for obedience and the spirit that is WHY we are experiencing such miracles, the Lord pushes you until you almost cant go anymore and the BAM here is a miracle to keep you going strong.

3rd miracle...we found this american man named steve...he was kinda a referral from president, but the whole referral didn’t make sense, they didn’t know if he was a member they told us his purple house was pink, so we had a hard time finding him. as a missionary we are soo busy usually a referral like that we would give up finding him, plus we finally found him and he was busy and we tried again and he was busy, so usually i wouldn’t have kept coming back. but for some reason, once again the spirit was telling us to keep trying. WELL...we went back again with the strouds and he had amazing questions and we ended up giving him to the strouds to work with him, well in just a couple weeks he has completely come back to church full force, going to classes participating and just being amazing. and he had been inactive for 20 YEARS!! right timing and spirit, wow....the Lord really does plan for all of his children, b/c if we didn’t have the strouds, nothing probably would have come of it, so the Lord places people for him, and gave us the opportunity to find him. ALSO, last week, the elders found another american who is actually a friend of steve's drunk out of his mind, with a load of problems,,,but he likes mormons. and so they referred us to him and we told the strouds and steve to come with us. he needs all the missionaries he can get, b/c he is a heavy alcoholic almost to the point where he will not be living much longer b/c of his depression and choices...for him its this gospel or his life. we got in there and we started the lesson and you could just see the spirit working in him. 1st of all he was prepared by the lord b/c the first time he had been sober for 3 days, which steve said is a miracle and he went from just saying mormons are nice to the end of the lesson saying wow i night be the first mormon in my family, AND he’s coming to general conference this week. WOW. We’re kinda making an american branch here, b/c the strouds just recently reactivated another african american...haha.

and last miracle, so we are really close to one of the members, s. gonzalez, and wow does she have a hard life she is a widow with 5 kids, and barely has enough to get buy...sometimes they have no food. BUT she has been paying her tithing FAITHFULLY and fast offerings and wow money just keeps coming into her life. just as there is no money left some how from the mercy of the lord she receives enough money to get by, she’s received a job or something at last minute. one day she was praying, cause their is a promise from pres. hinckley that if the filipinos pay their tithing they will always have rice on their table. she had no rice and was praying where is the promise of prophet hinckley I’ve paid my tithing and that day came the strouds with a huge bag of rice for her and her family...this doesn’t happen once but happens all the time for her and her family. what a testimony for me,. who never had a huge testimony on tithing...i cant wait to get back and pay my tithing!!!

I love these people I love their examples...i work hard EVERYDAY, even if its pouring 100 gallons of rain on me, we came completely soaked and dripping last night and i bought s. bosio dinner b/c she didn’t complain, we refuse to complain b/c the bigger the sacrifice the BIGGER the blessing...I love my mission, I love who I am b/c of my mission, i hope i can keep this light and spirit with me the rest of my life. I am completely changed person and i never realized how much i would need my mission until now. I look back at how i used to be and what were my goals and what was important to me...it has all changed....i know every women doesn’t need a mission, i guess some are just more refined than me, but I NEEDED this, I NEEDED these people almost more than they need me. I will adopt 5 filipino kids haha. i don’t know how i can leave this. I am walking everyday with jesus Christ's name on my chest as one of his soldiers, with miracles happening everyday changing my life. i love this...carry on!!!

September 28th

Wow...everyone and their moms are getting married....

So this week once again, LOTS of rejection and problems, I feel a huge weight on my shoulders, that’s the problem when you have learned to love and care about the salvation of others soo much!! Well first I will start with Transfer call....E. Pasikala, is transfering to negros.....very sad, but expected. E Winmill (you used to write his mom when he was ZI in the mtc, he’s my older batch) is AP, and E. Banzon who is my favorite filipino elder will be in our zone and training!!! yay!! We gave the Strouds spirit animals today and sister bosio. S. stroud is a dolphin, e. stroud is a elk and s. bosio is a meerkat... so ya were strange. I’m of course staying in Calape for at least one more transfer, I might die here, which would be ok, b/c we are having AMAZING progress!!! we had over 100 ppl at church and when we first got here we had only had about 50 or 60!! AHHH!!! amazing....we just need to get the baptisms going. E is doing better she received a blessing this last week, and she’s starting to really listen to the promptings of the spirit, BUT it might be a LONG time before she gets baptized, which is ok as long as it happens. We have a TON of problems with our other investigators, one being persecuted a ton by her family, and all this gossip and blah blah blah, you probably don’t care. I know one day Calape we be a miracle area, I love it here and we're really seeing this branch grow strong and then the baptisms will follow. We had a CSP where we cleaned by the ocean, kind of lame but we ate a ton of coconut and the rainstorms are CRAZY here, I got a little video of it.

So I’m feeling really good about my decisions when I come home, I think I’m allowed to register myself just find out what the date is for me, also....I do really need to start finding a place to live, it NEEDS to be cheap, AND I want to take a tagalog class, beginning...and I need to find out how to take the tests for my cebuano language so I can get credits for that. I think e. banzon wrote you did you get it?

Well...that’s about it...nothing too exciting, I have the best daughter ever on the mission, I keep teaching her hot rod phrases and quotes in english and its super funny, we have a ton of fun. We are really tracting and she is excited to do everything, wow I am getting old on the mish but I’m not getting trunky, my goal is to continue the pace I was on when I was new and I haven’t slowed down yet!! and I never will!!! I love my mission and everything about it!! This church is soo true....love you!!!

September 14 ~ Following the Spirit ~ Harvesting Rice and Souls

So I know how Chels is feeling, we have had a TON of rejection this week. But, I always am somewhat thankful for it b/c it really makes the miracles even more miraculous. We have really learned to appreciate even the little successes. We have had such a success with bringing people back to church, and saw a family come back to church after being inactive for 5 years. They are soo much happier now and you see the spirit has really entered their home. We also met an American that lives here and has been inactive for over 20 years!! We sent the strouds to him and will see what happens. He is super nice and would be a HUGE asset to the branch. He has an interesting story, he was in the Navy for over 20 years and his dad was excommunicated...we’re trying to dig further on that the iceberg is that stopped him from going to church...oh and...So our little family, from the island in the middle of the rice field came to church!! We were soo excited, they really want to learn more and we’re helping them harvest rice this friday....Speaking of harvesting rice, I was in the middle of inviting this whole group of people to church while they were harvesting rice and I told them I wanted to try so just imagine a sister missionary, in her skirt out in the middle of the rice field with a knife harvesting some strangers rice. lets just say they all got a kick out of it.

So we get to go to cebu tomorrow for training,...im excited, see the temple again. I feel like i have just been in the middle of nowhere forever.....im struggling not giving everything I own to these people, these people here have nothing and the hardest mission rule is not just giving money to everyone. We had one family who is really struggling so we bought over 70 bananas from them and then brought over a chicken to eat with them so they could have a little enjoyment in their life. Now we have over 70 bananas to eat...haha. As for the packages mom, don’t worry...I don’t need much, I just like receiving things to give to people....and I totally can relate to feeling like Alma the Younger, I never believed how weak I was before and how much I lacked in faith. and yes I still have a LONG way to go, I still mess up and I am nothing without the Lord.

We have this one investigator, she new but awesome. I’ll start from the beginning...I remember a while back I felt this strong feeling to teach this family that lives by one of our investigators. We taught them,,, and nothing came from it. They weren’t interested, and it all kind of lead to a dead end. Well I kept wondering, why did I feel like I needed to teach them, they definitely weren’t what you would call a golden family....well last week, when we went to one of the member’s house they said that they had someone that wanted to listen to us. We went to this lady’s house, her name is ann. and we asked why she wanted to listen to us, she said well she had seen us passing by each week and then saw us teach her family, but didn’t have time to listen at that time, and she was super interested in our message and curious what we were teaching her family. So what do you know? her family was that family that I felt impressed to teach!! You never know why the spirit is telling you to do things, or what the plan of the lord is...but that is why you need to be obedient, b/c the Lord really does work in mysterious ways!! She is an amazing investigator and even has talked to her husband and he said it’s okay if she continues to listen and learn and we’re going to try to teach him too!! I am soo thankful for the spirit, and its guidance, and I know what you mean by I still have a long way to go...I am an imperfect missionary but I know the Lord is molding me. Well that’s all for now...hope my letter makes sense, yes my english sucks, I know...

carry on!

September 7th ~ Food Poisoning and a Baptism

Summer is over.....well its christmas time here, its starts in september here. So we were rockin out to jingle bells during our companionship study....haha our neighbors our soo loud.

as for my sick episode after my email, I ran out of the computer shop and sat on the floor, i kind of created a crowd b/c im an american and all and elder pasikala tried to convince me to get up and take the 1 hour bus ride home, but that just seemed terrible. after some convincing I got up and just as we got to the street by the tricycles and bus i threw up three times in the middle of the street in front of everyone. the elders really have seen the most beautiful sides of me here in the philippines...we were laughing. well i took the most miserable hot bumpy. crowded bus ride home, ran off the bus and threw up three more times. Then I threw up the rest of the day laying on the bathroom floor until I finally gave in and called the strouds. They were so kind and brought me medicine and ice packs and gave me a blessing, i continued to throw up the whole night, wishing i could just die and then woke up the next morning and went to work. I was super weak and everyone thought I was crazy, but I knew I would go crazy if i stayed in bed, when I should be out working. Sister stroud brought over icecream, and I am soo thankful for my mission parents that just live down the street. Yes so that is the third food poisoning I have had like that in the philippines, its the most brutal sickness I have had, I thought I would lose my insides, but im ok and happy now. Thankful to be done with that...

Well as you have probably already figured out, my mission is CRAZY!! Our investigators...haha...well lets just say things might be getting complicated but I cant talk about it until after my mission.....just wait for these stories. We are really working on finding new investigators and are really working hard...very hard. We went to a leadership training with pres. schmutz and did a mock branch council, soo much progress from that. Our branch is really improving and I think they are learning to love the sisters....I know they miss the elders before that just liked to "hang out" but I finally told one of the members that that is not true love. we arent here to "play around" yes we love to have fun and I think sister bosio and I have the work hard and play hard thing down, but we are showing our love for this area by putting in our heart and soul to the work. Cause we love them. Yesterday we walked around for over 2 hours just no one being home or having time to talk to us (chels, i understand....its hard) especially in the heat...and you know what maybe I wont see a ton of baptisms in my time here in calape but I am working so that one day it will be a missionaries miracle area. I love it here, everything about being here. I think of leaving all this and it makes me super emotional. I love everything about being a missionary, putting that name tag on in the morning, and walking the streets, looking for those prepared souls.

By the way we had an amazing baptism, Dominic was soo cute, I love that family! We are really working with them to get his dad baptized now so that their family is complete. They went to church even though they only had 10 pesos and might have to walk which their house is like probably over 6 miles away. Well padyon...I would LOVE to teach Young womens if they want mission stories every sunday about machetes, shootings, cock fights, balut, jungles, and islands of people that have never before seen a white person, then yes I will teach, but I will also teach about the most important things,,,the atoning love of our savior and the love of our heavenly father for every single one of his children,,,

carry on!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

August 30th

So we've had some interesting experiences. I think on monday we were going from an appointment and there is this strange oasis of jungle in the middle of the huge rice field, and I was curious so we had time so we decided to go tracting there. We started walking through these pathways through the rice fields until we finally found a pathway that was a lot easier and we got there and there was like this little community of people and everyone was somewhat related....and so we taught two groups of people and they had all these questions one guy had an old school book of mormon in english and he knew all about lehi and nephi and he was this super old tatay. We came back with the strouds and taught them the plan of salvation and they seemed super interested. So we are now teaching a whole little oasis island in the middle of these rice fields. Im just going to start my own little community and church there.

We were also having HUGE progress with c and her husband s, like he completely has changed and believes in Joseph Smith and wants to be married and baptized this year, but then he got called to go work on a totally different island and they had a fight before he left. But we texted him and told him to still be praying for his family and he said he was reading the Book of Mormon while waiting for the bus.

Aramando is AMAZING, holy crap he will be a future leader, he made his wife last sunday go visit less active members with him...and hes only been a member for a week!!!!! He also reads the book of mormon everyday and dreams he is Nephi at night...haha

E, is doing amazing comes to church every sunday and pays tithing FAITHFULLY every sunday and we have even started to teach her husband at 6am every other morning so that he can change they can be married and be baptized, he has made huge progress and hopefully we will see miracles from us sacrificing our sleep. Everyone says im working my child to hard, but shes a trooper dealing with me.

By the way Ive been learning soo much from the strouds their like a lifetime of knowledge, and I love talking to them, we have the best neighbors, and their really awesome to work with even though they dont know what is going on in the lessons when they work with us they kow just what to say and the spirit is very special.

We made a huge breakfast this morning with shrimp, banana pancakes, french toast, mangos blah blah blah, im getting fat from being fed by the strouds. We probably spent the last three hours talking about pokemon and old cartoons the filipinos feel asleep, they were bored and said we can never stop talking...haha.

Sister Bosio is super fun and not one of those cliche sisters, we are pretty much made to be mother and daughter, she reminds me a little of chels filipino style so we have fun....

So i havent eaten anything crazy this week except me and elder pasikala ate a huge red chili pepper and i almost died it hurt soo bad, I could feel the pain even in my ears......the filipino elders always point to weird insects on the ground and say sister robison eat...haha.

love you all...carry on!!!

August 23rd

Well....I have some requests...can you email chels and see if she ever got my letter? I dunno if it was the right address. also, can you send some more little book of mormons....by the way is sister honey back in Bogo?

As for my week. Wow, we are having revolutionary changes in our mission and we get to be a part of it. :) I am so excited. First of all my trainee is awesome, she is from Mindanao and We have a lot of fun, sister Schmutz said we're a good match b/c we're both pretty spunky..haha..I have fun with her b/c sometimes her visaya is mixed with tagalog and the visaya is different here so she is learning vocabulary from me. She spoke in zone conf and I just felt like a proud mother..haha.. .there is a new training program and this is the first time this has been done, first transfer ever and I got to go to Cebu and we were all trained last friday on how to use this new program. I saw E. Banzon he said he wrote you so you need to write him back. E. Johnson is training also so he was there. We got our new dvd players to use in our companionship study. But this means I will be training for 12 weeks, and we have to have this 2 hour study everyday, its intense. They are supposed to be soo well trained they could be able to train after 12 weeks. I'll be in Bohol for 6 months yay!!! Prez. Schmutz said trainers are the most important calling in the mission,..so I feel a large burden on my shoulders, but this is exactly what I needed, there is like a new spirit in me and our lessons, I am really trying to improve as a missionary and I feel so privileged to be a part of this new program that will just up the skills of missionaries soo much more, meaning so many souls will accept the gospel.

So we have had an AMAZING week. S. C's husband who was at first against the church is now super interested in the church AND listening and reading our assignments. We asked him how his testimony is and he said its still not there yet BUT yesterday we went back and he now has a testimony and wants to be BAPTIZED this year. He even prayed about that when he said the closing prayer he asked for help. SO yes wedding bells and overflowing of our baptismal font will probably be happening in October!!!! YAY! S. E is still working with B. E. so that they can be married and be baptized, also this October :) Families :) I am soo excited, we have just been having absolutely incredible lessons, and found a ton of new investigators. We have been soo guided by the spirit. And B. Armando was confirmed a member of the church!! aghh he is amazing!!! He wants to go spread the Gospel to all his family, and we are working with him to go do baptisms for the dead for his family in September. I love working, I love working hard, I love coming in soo exhausted I can hardly walk or think. No i have not had a day in the mission I can regret and day I didn’t give my all. I am not perfect, I am soooo far from perfect, BUT I have had a PERFECT mission.

By the way we do this thing called spirit animals in the mission Elder Pasikala is a Panda. I got mine today in zone conference I'm a lynx. haha. Zone Conference was great, I received soo much revelation as always....I feel as I'm coming to the down slope in my mission, I have soo much more to work on. The time is far spent there is little remaining....I feel I am just FIGHTINg a losing battle with time. 24 hours a day is soo short and I have so much more to do, so much more to improve, so many more miracles to witness, so much more bisdak to become....tick tock all the time....ughh. I was thinking the testimony of Ammon about how he is nothing without God and he doesn’t boast in himself but only in his God, I feel that soo much. I love the stories from the scriptures especially about alma and the sons of mosiah...they speak my feelings a lot better than I can, Love the book of Mormon. I'm gonna challenge you guys every week. Buhaton be ninyo nga read the book of mormon and pray as a family every day this week? I know that you will receive revelation as a family, feel closer to me, and everyone will be able to overcome your trials and temptations this week. Just remember that is one of the most exciting things for me to come home too. I don’t care about movies, music I want to be with the family and make our home a little piece of heaven. Our home is next place to heaven on earth after the temple. So if you want me to adjust to coming home start making it a heavenly place for me now. I am just fattening you up with all my cheesiness and I’m sorry but I have seen miracles on my mission from family prayer and doing the basics is very special to me. I love you all.....carry on!! carry on!

August 16th

Wow....What a week? I am still in shock from every amazing thing that has happened. First Transfer call came this morning.............drum roll.....................

IM STAYING!! YAY!!!! But,,,,Im feelin a little pregnant b/c as of friday I will have an anak.....I’m training, I’m soo scared I might poop myself again, b/c I don’t know if she’s tagalog, or visaya, If she knows english or what....aghh. I’m gonna miss Sister Manarin a ton!! We've had soo much fun and she’s been amazing comapion. This is like our area so it’ll be weird being with someone else, and I am feeling a little in over my head but I know the Lord has qualified me and will help me in this new adventure. As for Elder Frecker...he went home. We all miss him, he was an awesome zl but it was his time to return to idaho and his cowboy days. So Ill be going to Cebu this friday to have a meeting with president and pick up my daughter, and that means I’ll be in Bohol a LONG TIME....yay :)

As for you not picking me up, your plan sounds about right...perfect, I didn’t feel right ruining everyone’s christmas and stressing you, I’m sorry as a missionary I just hardly know what it feels like not to be happy...haha. whatever you want :) I just cant wait to see you all again. Court sent me pictures, I miss her we/re gonna have a blast I hope she doesn’t go on a mission RIGHT AWAY b/c I need her to help make me normal again and buy me clothes...I HAVE NO STYLE whatsoever anymore...haha. I just throw on clothes and a headband and that’s about it. I have a jack sparrow look going, but I just decided I’ll worry about my gwapa later.

Now lets get spiritual.....I had one of the most amazing lessons on my mission last thursday, we taught Armando about the priesthood, to prepare him for his baptism. Now all of us had had a special feeling about him since the day we met him. I have always felt that one day he would make an impact in the church. So this lesson we brought the strouds (our new senior couple) with us to teach him. We felt strongly about teaching him about his duty as a priesthood holder. So we taught him and then Elder Stroud testified. Now he doesn’t speak cebuano so he didn’t know exactly what was being taught or going on but he prophesied to B. Armando and told him that he feels strongly since the day he met him that he will one day be a future leader in this church and that through his priesthood he will bless and effect the lives of many others. I felt the spirit soo strongly and we were all crying and had chills going down our arms I had goosebumps I know what E. Stroud was saying was from the Lord. B. Armando has an amazing testimony and has grown so fast in just a couple weeks in the Gospel. He is very special to us and S. Marnarin and I and the strouds were talking after the lesson and I said if he was the only convert on my mission, I would come home a very successful missionary. :) He was just soo prepared. and by the way, his baptism was AMAZING!!! President and sister stroud both came along with an area authority of the 70 Elder Perez. We all sang "im trying to be like jesus" and many people were in tears. B. Armandos testimony was amazing and his future is so bright in this gospel. This is what being a missionary is about.

On Friday we were asked to help Sister Schmutz with the leadership training of the women. I think people are really beginning to like sisters in the zone now. E. Frecker said one of the branch presidents came up to him and requested sisters for their area b/c the work they have seen done in calape. That was and amazing compliment.

Sunday we had a missionary fireside where we all taught the district and afterwards the strouds got in an accident. it would had been serious but only their back was hit so they are ok just sore. When we heard though we were still at the church heard sirens and ran all the way from the church to their house. we were sooo scared, but they were ok and there was a TON of people so we took the opportunity and invited all of them to church...haha. no one was seriously hurt.

So Mom if you could make and save all the letters from president hansen and schmutz in my emails that would be great...I know i lose this email after my mission and mom...STOP COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS.....garrr. I still have a while on the mission...ha? still more people to convert and many more experiences. and 15 lbs to lose and a trainee to corrupt...jk hehe. By the way elder pasi and I are still zone buddies as you would be glad to know. oh and you can tell sister honey that sister martin went home too :( with elder frecker and my mama sister person....:( Ill miss them all. Well carry on, I love you! I’m sending pictures soon!

Love you!

August 9th

Aloha from Bohol,

So life is good, always having fun and working hard. We have a baptism this Saturday and President Schmutz is going to attend so it has to be good. He super awesome, His name is Armando and he is the husband of one of the members, at first he was always busy so it was hard to teach him, but we were very persistent and now hes awesome, and after his interview our district leader elder surio said...hes an awesome investigator and is probably a future district president!!! yes!!

We have district conference this week and Im excited, but that means little time for work. We’re having fun with the senior couple...but we’ve definitely have had some hardships this week. Our investigator D who was doing super awesome, had given up drinking and was slowly giving up smoking had a HUGE downfall. When we first met him, he had run away from home b/c he was fighting with his wife. They were always fighting and there was a dark spirit in their home. I never liked to go over there b/c their was always contention, But then he slowly gained a testimony. Came to church every week, was always smiling, awesome spirit in their home...and then BAM....he hit rock bottom. He started drinking with his friends again, and his wife was crying. We had FHE over there with the senior couple, and we saw D walking away from his house, he was completely drunk...slurring his speech and saying, his wife is a big fat liar. Elder Stroud wanted me to translate and I told him what he said, and he is like this is when you do what E. Holland said and feel DEVESTATED. Well I’ve been heart Broken over it....just completely ripped my heart out of my chest, BUT we taught him yesterday and he seemed better....please pray for him. But on a good note, sister E paid tithing!!! YES we were soo excited and we just keep seeing miracles here.

Transfer week is next week and HOPEFULLY I WILL NOT BE TRANSFERRED!! But I think I will, I just have a feeling cause its s. Manarins last transfer next transfer and I doubt she transfers....Ill cry and be upset and then sing, Ill go where the Lord wants me to go...haha. Ive started to become really old in my old age here in the mish. I just love telling people that as a messenger of the Lord these are promised blessings and you need to change this or this is your consequence.

So Yes I probably don’t want to go back to school until fall, might as well, wait so I can work, make money....So ya lets just do that. Mom stop worrying, I’m healthy, I think. I feel healthy and happy. My hair is growing back I think, I’m just really really white!!!

Love you,

Carry on!

August 2, 2011 ~ New Senior Couple

Oh wow....what another week. So we had the new senior couple finally arrive and we had a huge district welcome party for them. It was fun and soo funny. Talk about old tatays doing a drama with old music playing in the background., soo funny. And there was this little cute innocent 11 or 12 year old girl that sang this song and the lyrics were super dirty...haha!! as in!! and it was hilarious b/c no one understood except for us americans so Elder Pasi and I were cracking up and no one had any idea why....i know we’re missionaries but I still got a little devilishness in me...is that bad?? haha.

The Strouds (senior couple) are amazing, we are working with them right now with some really great big plans for the whole Bohol Island I think it will be revolutionary for the church here. E. Stroud has been a seminary teacher for years and years so he is an expert about doctrine so we have gone over there a couple times to just discuss about things like signs of the second coming and doctrine with him, its our missionary fun and its in air con.
I guess were connected all the way across the world, b/c we have rats too. but whatever, I dont even care anymore when I see a nasty little critter. and we were supposed to cook and eat a dog today, but we didn’t find one so dont worry. And dont worry I have GOALS...first of all to whip you all in shape...of course. Second to work with missionaries, I wanna be their best helper and also I NEED to go to Portland I feel that I don’t know exactly why but I just feel it. And I need to be with the family

....by the way I have NO lice, just some dead eggs, but they are all dead I have been about lice free for a month...so DONT WORRY. I am healthy and happy.

We had 6 investigators attend church, two will be baptized next week and we’re having some good progress with our other investigators. We had an intense lesson with Elai (wife in the Golden family) she wants to be baptized but she needs to get married first, which is hard here b/c no one has money and its expensive. So were gonna try to find a way to help but she needs to save the money on her own...although its like one $20 for me...they need to sacrifice, but its hard not to just give the money. You don’t need to talk to Pres. Schmutz just do it all through what I told you, you should get a package about it. Whatever you guys want to do, I dont want to force anything.

Sister honey emailed me and I cant email back....tell her I miss her a ton!! I loved our times in Bogo...SOOO FUN!!! and mom if you just want to come to Philippines...we can have a special mommy daughter date in the phils. But up to you, whatever you guys want. If not Im just excited to be home for christmas, by the way I probably wont see any of those elders, Im in the middle of bukid no wheresville so theres lots of friends from the mission I wont see again, which kind of sucks

Well I love this gospel....my investigators are progressing soo much, there is soo much progress here I am just in awe, I love life. I love my mission, Now let us rejoice!!! I love the scriptures studying them has just opened my eyes to things I couldn’t have even imagined before. I have set goals and made plans for when I get home. I wanna run a race with dad, so he better get in shape, oh and he better grow the moustache back....you guys are just changing to much for me,,, I cant handle it...haha.

Love you, stop growing up...im exactly the same, I thought was supposed to come home changed not you guys....grrr

Carry on!

July 26th ~ "Trunky Letter", but I'm NOT Trunky

Oh my lice is basically gone mom, dont worry, I have thinner hair but Im not too worried about it and I have a rash on my arms but no scaring, and my face is fine, completely clear....so DONT WORRY....hehe. I am healthy as ever so dont worry :) and my hair will grow back...its not THAT thin, im just an exaggerator...haha...and theres always the resurrection.

oh by the way, I got my trunky letter...my date is decemeber 22 and I marked you three will be picking me up so you should get a packet soon....you can call (801)240-5111 to coordinate flight plans. trunky na ko!

I got a letter from chels...you can send her my weekly emails too so she knows how im doing. miss her, shes awesome

so this week has been AMAZING!!!! Can you say miracles??? I mean I am still amazed...so lets start out with the letter I received. All of my converts are super active in Mabolo, B. Jesus just got called to be ward mission leader!! Apparently he is on fire!! Delia is a relief society teacher and in the presidency...can you believe that???? My converts, not even a year baptized, I feel like a proud mommy. As for calape....I cant even believe Heavenly Fathers love for us!! We found two super claro investigators one that will be baptized in august and we had TWELVE!!!!!!! yes 12 investigators come to church last Sunday, we couldn’t even fit them all in our classes, everyone was sooooo amazed. Usually we only have about 50-60 people come to church but last week we had 100+ can you believe that??? I was almost in tears I was overjoyed.

The ward members are starting to love the sisters...yes were probably aren’t as much fun but through hard work and obedience there are miracles. Our golden family is doing wonderful, super progressing and went to church and sister Cecil, who dropped us last week b/c her husband was angry she was listening to us came to church with her 3 incredibly cute kids. She dropped us and after praying and discussing it we went back, testified to her and told her to talk to her husband again, she told me while I was sitting next to her in sacrament with a huge smile on her face, her husband is ok now with her being taught!! can you say miracle again??

I am incredibly humbled and in love with this work, I don’t know how I can go back to normal life. I received three letters from my recent converts and those are my most cherished possessions. These emails don’t even do justice to all my stories and I have many more I haven’t been able to explain to you until you get home. There’s stuff that I am waiting to tell you in person and I only want to tell you my family....the mission is amazing. Incredible, I feel like a soldier of the lord walking in the jungles and streets of the Philippines. There is something different about life here, this is reality this is eternity for me. and I am incredibly blessed. Our members told us they have never seen this progress happen before they have never even seen that close to many investigators in church....what a miracle....i believe in miracles, and mom I don’t know but I really have been having a strong feeling I should go to Oregon and visit your family after the mission, also I would love to live with Courtney but I wanna be at home for 1 -2 months there’s something I wanna do. Also, mom you need to call BYU and tell them I wont be going back until summer, will you do that for me or i might have to reapply. I love you this work is true, there can be miracles when you believe...haha. prince of egypt.

Carry on!!

July 19, 2011 ~ New Mission President

Thank for the pictures, of Courter, shes soo pretty...her hair is soo long!! Im trying to grow my hair long again, but it is very thin and wont grow...haha. Im losing all my hair its awful but, everything is still worth it :) I actually love living with brown water, cock roaches and rashes, when will I ever be able to experience this again??? I never thought I would say that....so funny some of the elders saw an ipad for the first time, Ive still never seen one, the technology here is like in the 80's so Im gonna come back and just be amazed all the time. Plus we barely have running water and I havent used a shower in ages (especially hot water) haha. I love it though. Sitting on the floor all the time, I feel soo at home here.

But this week has been a little tough. Im not going to believe that Bohol is a harder area then the rest of the mission....I refuse!!! I just keep praying that we will have success and see miracles. I know difficulties are all part of the bigger picture of success. Ya we were dropped by two of our investigators b/c their husbands were angry at them for listening to us. I thought they were really promising. BUT, at least one we’re not gonna give up on, were going to go back again and try to help her. Our Golden family is doing okay...they couldnt come to church, b/c he had work but next time. Hopefully they will continue to progress...keep them in your prayers- Elai and Eddie Boy.

My interview was amazing, President and S. Schmutz are so loving and nice. I love them. I asked about extending though and I got the hint...sister you need to move on...haha. So I guess it will be december na lang when I come home. But Ill be home for christmas......... :) But he did talk to me about training....yikes!!! haha I told him I am up for anything, any area...the "harder" the area the better...:) Its true, Bohol is challenging But I love it b/c it just makes you treasure the successes soo much more. I know I can handle anything after my mission.

We will be having the couple missionaries arrive next week they will be living across the street from us, Im looking forward to fresh baked cookies and american food :) Im sorry but I have lost the little american ettiquette I had before so your all going have to teach me how to eat right again haha. We struggle using the american utensils. Youll have soo much fun making fun of me, especially courtney.

Oh I might not tell about our next pday activity...everyone will hate me especially brooke and grammy...they might cry. Ya remember how you were mad about the pig?

By the way there were other people that were resurrected...for example peter, james john, moroni. Well thats what we think. And I remember adam and eve were resurrected b/c they were describing the bondage they felt when they only had their spirits.

Right now were going to hike the waterfall and river....im excited. This place is beautiful...hopefully you guys can come, even though Im coming home in december. Please tell me yes??

I got two letters that made me cry yesterday, these people are soo special to me. My convert-jessyrine in Bogo is a single mother and she has a little boy named aj and she says he misses me...when he sees my picture he pointes and calls me (titer biton) sooo cute!! I love them I cant even express how much I love these people, especially my converts. I wrote them and told them hopefully you can meet them. Oh and tell chantelle congrats...shell LOVE ASIANS...I know I do! I dont care about all those european countries I just want to explore asia...if you guys come here we need to stop in thailand of tiawan or japan or something.

Well I love you all!! This church is true and I love it, I love bearing my testimony everyday and feeling my saviors love. I cant wait to see you all, I have dreams about hugging all of you especially mom! :)

Carry on!

July 12, 2011 ~ Following the Spirit into the Jungle

Thanks for the pictures I LOVED THEM!!! Wow,...everyone is so guapa and guapo and so grown up while I have lice, rashes all over my body from the dirty brown water we shower with...haha. Ill be the black sheep of my good looking glowing family.

As for the week, one of the best weeks, I have been full of gratitude everyday from my sweet experiences and the blessing from the Lord. I cannot even believe his amazing mercy and love for me. I just feel enveloped in his love and I am AMAZED at the miracles and guidance I have received. So this is what happened....

I have been earnestly praying and fasting for the past transfer to find a family ready to receive the Gospel. I have had great faith that this will happen. I have been praying for miracles in my area, and once again I felt strongly that this would happen. Sister Manarin and I are really working hard and trying to be good missionaries and be spiritual so we would be worthy of the blessing. So on Friday we were tracting. We were in an area of ours we didnt know well and kept walking until we kind of tracted into wilderness. I mean there were absolutely no houses, just jungle. But for some reason I felt we should continue. S. Manarin was like okay lets continue, I told her “sister there is either an extremely sweet place we’re going to or a golden family I feel it.” We were both so guided, When we got to three separate roads, I asked her what road we should take and we both pointed to the middle one. Both so in tune, we continued and finally there was a small house in the distance with a woman chopping wood. We both looked at it and said lets go there. While we were walking I said, “sister I know this is our Golden family.” We got there and started talking to the wife and she was nice and we helped her chop some wood and then we asked if we could teach her and as we began the lesson her husband came home. He started asking us all these questions, so excited. He said he knew a bunch of Mormons and said we will be at church at 8am on Sunday, I was soo full of joy and gratitude I thought I would burst. We went to church on Sunday and we had 4 investigators committed to attend but they were not there, then just before the sacrament someone said, “sister are those you investigators?” and I was like oh yes, its them. There they were, our golden family with their two daughters. I thanked heavenly father right then. We have been teaching them and I dont think they are married, but they are excited and amazing and I love them. and the branch has already embraced them. I am sooo grateful and happy to be having these experiences. I now can say I love tracting! Pray for them, I love them so much.

By the way if you ever want to read my letters to president and his reply you can just access this email. He seems really nice, Im excited to meet him, hes so genuine in his letters.

By the way if you guys come here there is the coolest adventure park, ziplining, caving, root climbing it has it all but Im not allowed to do any of it!!! But you guys can :)
go here to check it out. www.eatdanao.com I have the flyer we went last week and found out we couldnt do any of it...lamest pday ever.

Oh by the way I found a nativity and bought it, it was like $30 dollars. its ok, I love it b/c its filipino :)

We have interviews next week. Im excited, Im gonna ask him about extending, did you call BYU yet? I cant go back until at least probably May, so you gotta let them know.

Love you all!!! Believe in miracles, especially for your family mom....one day they’ll understand I’ve been praying for them a lot and fasting. By the way tell elder. pasi's mom he’s great, hell love Bohol. I’m with him now, always smiling. We’re both laughing at you two worry warts..haha.