Mission Picture top blog

Mission Picture top blog

Monday, August 25, 2014

Seize the opportunities placed before you

So my first transfer call happened yesterday and... I am staying in London! Yippee!
I can't wait to work hard again this next transfer with Sister Shurtliff, I love her so much!   I love how she is so obedient and I love how we teach in unity.  Really,  I know what she is thinking in lessons or where she is going and we are always on the same wavelength.  I love how she is so humble and patient.  We have the best time together.  Truly.... I am glad we are with each other for another 6 weeks and I have the opportunity to continue learning from this amazing sister.

Updates from last week: Sadly, we can't find Keith.  Sister Shurtliff and I went over to the backyard where he was sleeping in a barn and he isn't there anymore.   Another hard moment this week was when Holly called us and said that she does not want to meet with us any more.  It is hard to lose investigators, all I can do is keep them in my prayers. Overall, this week was a bit slow because I feel like we do so much and work so hard.  I have to remind myself that my Heavenly Father knows what is best and I just put my faith and trust in him constantly.  I know that I have received so many blessings in doing so.  I just know with this new transfer we will be working so hard to get new investigators, staying dedicated and happy to do the Lord’s work!!

We are teaching the Easton Family and they are doing really good! They are a part member family (a bit confusing). Terry, the dad who is about 50, has been a member since he was little, smokes constantly and doesn't have any knowledge about the gospel.  Jenneth, the mom, is catholic but loves listening in on our lessons.  Josh, their son is 14 and was baptized when he was a baby in the Catholic Church but tells us all the time he doesn't remember it and he feels like he isn't a part of any church.  Anyways... We have been teaching them for the past 4 weeks! We have retaught them the Restoration, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and next we will teach them the Plan of Salvation.  We teach them small amounts of information about the gospel because Terry loves to ask the most random questions randomly throughout the entire lesson!  I have come to love them SO much! They are our only investigators who are interested right now.

When we went over to their house Josh answered and was so happy to see us! He ran and grabbed his Book of Mormon and his dad's Book of Mormon. The spirit was so strong! Josh loves 2 Nephi 31:20 where it talks about eternal life. He thinks it's the neatest scripture!  At the end, Josh knelt with us in prayer without us even asking! They are seriously the craziest family but I just love each of them and their uniqueness.  They couldn't come to Church yesterday because Terry's car had to get fixed so I hope they come next week!

We had dinner with a less active family, the Ellis's, and they love us. They have two little girls and we teach them a children’s lesson at the end of each dinner! They are coming back to church, which has been awesome!  We need to do is get them more involved with the ward!

On Friday we had a "New Missionary--6 Week Follow Up Training" meeting with President and Sister Clayton.  We had to call in since we are too far from the mission home and could not go there.  It was super good! President Clayton's message was about how we need to get our investigators to the temple.  I wanted to go to the Toronto Temple so badly after he spoke! I just love President Clayton. He is such an amazing mission president and does so much for the missionaries!  He mentioned that the mission might be getting iPad's later on in the year, that would be amazing if we did! We would flood the media with the gospel, we would show people Mormon Messages on the bus, we would do SO much with the iPad's! I'll keep you updated and see where that goes in the future! (PLEASE watch Elder Bednar's address about Social Media on LDS.org  It's amazing!)
Picture with Vida Cambell after helping in her yard

We have been visiting with Vida Cambell each week and doing service for her. Usually we help her mow her lawn, weed, and clean up her yard but this time was slightly different. We re-taught her the Restoration! She loved the message we shared, asked amazing questions, and wants to hear more! She doesn't remember the lessons from the missionaries and even told us that she said she wants to come back to church! When she said that, it made my day!  I felt a great peace that all the small acts of service that we are providing for her, are making a difference! 

We went back to talk to Steve (who we had met in the rainstorm).  When we saw him again I felt like I should bear my testimony about Christ's Atonement. He was so touched by the spirit and even bore his short testimony about Christ as well! We told him about the Book of Mormon and we said we would love to bring him one the next day and share a message with him and he couldn't be more excited. We went the next day and gave him the Book or Mormon at his apartment and all went well! I explained to him what the Book of Mormon is, where it came from, how we got it, and my testimony of the Book of Mormon. He was excited to hear again that it was Another Testament of Jesus Christ. We will be teaching him later tonight about the Restoration (hopefully with his fiancĂ© he's had for 9 years)! I'll let you know what happens with him next week!

Lastly, I spoke yesterday in church! Sister Shurtliff and I were asked to speak in sacrament meeting. I wasn't nervous at all I mean... It's just like teaching a lesson but to a big group of people right? I taught about "The Joyful Burden of Discipleship" by Elder Ronald A. Rasband's from this past General Conference. 

So what does that really mean? A "joyful burden"? The word joyful means happiness or a source of pleasure but burden means something that is carried... BUT it is also defined as "a duty". My talk was about "Our Joyful Duty as Members".  Missionaries aren't the only ones who share the gospel! We ALL have the wonderful opportunity of blessing the lives of others! President Monson has said, " We are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness—be they family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.

What President Monson said is true! People do need us. We can lift people up by:
1. Talking! When we open our mouths and ask people "How they are doing?"... It can change their day immensely! I have seen it being a missionary.
2. To our friends: A visit, phone call, or a note.
3. To anyone... a simple act of service. We need to follow Christ's example of service. He healed and blessed people, forgave people of their sins, washed the disciples feet, suffered every sin, pain, and afflictions for everyone, and so much more. 

Opportunities are placed before us to help others.  May we recognize and seize these opportunities is my prayer.  I know that when we do this, we will see the love and gratitude in their eyes, their burden will be light, and you will feel the spirit of Christ more in your life.  Elder Rasband closed his talk by saying, "Focusing on serving our brothers and sisters can guide us to make divine decisions in our daily lives and prepares us to value and love what the Lord loves.  In so doing, we witness by our very lives that we are His disciples. When we are engaged in His work, we feel His Spirit with us. We grow in testimony, faith, trust, and love."

I am truly so grateful to be a missionary and have the opportunity to serve others everyday!  It's been the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life.  I have learned so much about myself, the gospel, and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that my Redeemer lives and loves each of us more then we can comprehend.  I invite you all to find the joy in the duty of discipleship everyday!  Let us "Come Follow Him".

Until next time...

Sister Robb

Monday, August 18, 2014

"Give him the apples"

This week has been a week of blessings!  Meeting new investigators, following the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and having an investigator with a baptismal date! Overall, it has been a hard but amazing week. 

Last Monday, Sister Shurtliff and I were caught in a flash flood walking down this street that seemed endless. We ran and found cover in this "old telephone booth sized" doorway to an old factory. While there, I said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to help us find someone that needs to hear the gospel... we did. After the rain died a bit, we walked down the street and found a man named Keith who was just outside watching the rain under a porch. We talked with him and found out that he is living in a barn in the back yard and that he is just so grateful that his boss lets him stay there since he doesn't have a home.  Keith is from Jamaica and has lived a really hard life. He talked about many of his trials and experiences that he has had throughout his life and also mentioned that he is just grateful to get food every couple of days since he has learned to survive off of water for three to four days.  While talking to him I heard this voice say softly... give him the apples.  I kept talking about the gospel to Keith when I heard the voice, again, louder say... give him the apples. I then turned to Sister Shurtliff thinking that she had told me that but she was bearing her testimony like nothing had happened. The voice then told me for a third time, Sister Robb, give him the apples! Realizing that Sister Shurtliff just finished bearing her testimony I knew what I needed to do. I told Keith that we have apples in our bags if he would like them and he said, "These are apples from Jesus. Thank you so much." He held the apples close and looked like he was going to cry. I almost cried! I had completely forgotten that we had apples in our bags that we had not eaten. Earlier in the day when I was going to eat the apple, I simply was not hungry, and learned many hours later why that was!  There is an answer to everything!  I knew that the Holy Ghost had answered my prayer. We were meant to find Keith, share with him the gospel, and give him some food that we had. Whenever I feel the promptings of the Holy Ghost, I have been following them and have seen countless miracles and blessings in doing so. I will never forget the many experiences that I have had here on my mission with the Holy Ghost.  My testimony the Holy Ghost has grown immensely!  I know that if we are worthy of the Holy Ghost throughout our lives, it will constantly be there to guide, comfort, teach, warn, and direct us in all that we do. 
Exploring hidden tunnels under our church!

We had exchanges this week! Sister Felix is the Sister Training leader in our mission and did a trio with Sister Shurtliff and I for a day! First off, a trio companionship is hard but we had some cool stuff happen!  We met this old man named Dip who is from Fiji. We set up a time for Friday and went to teach him. We taught he and his brother Dale about the Restoration and will be giving him a Hindi Book of Mormon this week!  We'll see how that goes but it went well the first time teaching him. The main thing that threw me off was when he said that they don't pray in their homes and only pray in their churches. We are going to teach them how to pray and pray with them this week! All I can do is pray for them and have faith that this is the time to hear more about the true restored gospel! 

Update on Timothy Richards! We went by on Tuesday to give him a Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Covenants combination book! He was so happy and invited us over for another time to hear a message that we had to share. We were so eager to meet him! Our lesson about the Restoration was very interesting... Not at all how we planned it would go. He went on and on and ON about politics, his military stories, and then taught us some of the Restoration details. We invited him to come to church and he basically said he can’t.  He told us he is helping another church right now with some things and that he doesn't want the congregation to be in harms risk... WHAT?!  We asked him why and he then explained how he used to be a Chaplin and is afraid that people are after him that don't like him.  He told us just to stop by every once in a while to talk but that he can't join the church right now but he would love to in the future! Not what I expected at all! But it's all good…. the seeds have been laid, scriptures have been given, and we will continue to pray that someday he will have a desire and yearning to learn more about the church and join... someday.

Last cool story, Sister Shurtliff and I got a call from a lady named Holly who we had met several days before just at a bus stop. She told us that she thought a lot about what we had told her about families and wanted that for her baby boy in the future. She is five months pregnant and has never really had any religious background. Sister Shurtliff and I were able to teach her last week about the Restoration and loved it! I invited her to baptism and she said YES! We had a baptismal date for August 31st but that has to change now since she didn't attend church yesterday because she felt very sick with her pregnancy and couldn't come. We will set up another baptismal date with her soon! We ran into Holly on the bus later that night after we had taught her and found out that she has a boyfriend! We will be teaching both of them this week (hopefully)! Cannot wait to see what is in store with them!  Let you know more next week!

Overall, it was a great week. I am truly blessed to be a representative of Jesus Christ. I have seen the Lord's hand in everything I do as a missionary the past 6 weeks. It's incredible! Lately during personal studies, I have been re-reading the May 2014 Ensign from our past General Conference talks. This morning I read "The Joyful Burden of Discipleship" by Elder Ronald A. Rasband. It is such an amazing talk! He says, "Jesus Christ continues to extend the call "Come Follow Me." He walked His homeland with His followers in a selfless manner. He continues to walk with us, stand by us, and lead us. To follow His perfect example is to recognize and honor the Savior. Who has borne all of our burdens through His sacred and saving Atonement, the ultimate act of service.  What he asks each one of us is to be able and willing to take up the joyful "burden" of discipleship." I know that when we are focusing on serving our brothers and sisters, He will guide us throughout our lives. We will also come to see through Christ's eyes the love He has for his children... I know that He loves each of his sons and daughters so much... Most of all, I know that He loves each of us immensely. We are his disciples when we serve our fellow men, I promise that we will feel of his spirit and "we will grow in testimony, faith, trust, and love" as we serve daily. 

Well, I must be off, but please know that I KNOW this Gospel is true.  Everything happens for a reason, and we may not know that reason at this time, or even in this mortal life, but there is SO much more than this life!  When you receive a prompting as simple as…. your not hungry, don’t eat that apple…please please please follow through with what it is urging you to do, because He knows it will make you stronger!  No prompting is an accident!  We are on this earth and have this knowledge, so let’s share it with people around us!!  Have the desire to invite more of His children to enter His kingdom, and when you do so, how great will be your joy!  J  HOW GREAT IS OUR CALLING!!!
Loving the candy and package that I received from home!!!!

Thank you for all your prayers and support.  Until next time….

Sister Robb

Monday, August 11, 2014

I love being a missionary!!

So you know how I love being a missionary?  Well…I DO!!!  SOOO MUCH!!! J  I love that I am continuing to learn from people I meet here on the streets everyday!  Because we don’t have a car, we’re able to talk to LOTS of people on the streets each day and share with them the BEAUTIFUL message of the restored Gospel, simply by talking with people this week, I’ve learned how to be a little kinder, how to be a friend to people passing by, how to speak a little slower (you all know I talk fast, alright, I’m learning…) and I have also learned that our smiles to people, change their day.  I mean, I’ve heard stories of that happening, but never really thought much of it.  I can’t wait for what’s in store this week because we already have a lot planned; exchanges, service projects, and awesome lessons to hopefully future investigators.  I cannot wait!

We met the coolest guy last Wednesday. We received a referral from missionaries to see a man named Timothy Richards. He wanted a Book of Mormon! When we arrived to where he lives, Sister Shurtliff was scarred to go in.  It basically was like a "small, creepy human sized rat maze". We had to hunch over to walk down the hallways and only one person could fit down the hallway at a time! Anyways... After much searching in this place we finally found his door and found Timothy Richards. He was so excited to see us! He told us that he had a Book of Mormon his whole life but a few months ago his home burned down and he lost everything. He has been trying to get a new copy ever since that time and he met the Elders the other day and they sent us over. The day before we met him, he went to a really old bookstore and found a Book of Mormon in French that that he bought. He knows some French, so he was excited to have a Book of Mormon in English and French. We could tell how much he treasures the Book of Mormon. He said that he reads it everyday along with the Bible. He used to meet with the missionaries but sadly lost contact.  Okay... Now to the really cool stuff. he mentioned  a guy named Dave Miller who is from Utah that taught him French and the gospel many, many years ago. I told him I know a Dave Miller and that he was my French teacher in High School.  So we will see if it's the same Dave he's talking about! Small world right! He is so cool and I cannot wait to talk to him again this week and see what happens.

Sunday was great, miracles really do happen!  We met a lady Thursday at the bus stop named Holly. We were able to give her a mormon.org card and I was able to quickly tell her how much the gospel means in my life and we then separated. On Sunday we received a call from her.  She called us and said that she would like to meet with us and learn more about the church. She is 5 months pregnant with her first child and said after we had talked to her on Thursday it dawned on her how much she wants what's best for her child and thinks that religion could be a great way to raise a family in todays “tough world”.  She has never been to church before but she said after she had met with us that she felt she needed to do this!  We scheduled an appointment with her for this week to give her a tour of the church to help her feel more comfortable about the church building and then give her a lesson afterwards. We'll see how it goes! She really seems special and different.  I cannot wait to see what's lies ahead for Holly.

I have had so many experiences where the scriptures have answered my questions, soothed my heart, and gave me a sense of peace and comfort. After a really long, unsuccessful day, I came back to the apartment feeling like I had failed that day. That night I had opened my scriptures and found something amazing. It's Alma 26:27, "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." After I had read that I was instantly filled with the Spirit and it said to me, "Don't worry Sister Robb... Tomorrow is a new day. Don't get down. Keep teaching the gospel and doing your best. You will be blessed." It's so true! I am blessed every single day being a missionary here in Canada.

walking path by our apartment
Every day is a gift and I have received countless blessings. I know that no matter what we have been through or what we will... Jesus Christ has felt it. He knows us and loves us so much that he went through the Atonement. A quote I love from Elder Bednar says, "There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no infirmity or weakness you or I ever confront in mortality that the Savior did not experience first. In a moment of weakness we may cry out, "No one knows what it is like. No one understands." But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens. And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy. He can reach out, touch, succour, heal, and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do relying only upon our own power. Indeed, His yoke is easy and His burden is light.”  ("Bear Up their Burdens with Ease")

I know this to be true.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior.  He lives and He loves us so much!  I KNOW this Gospel is True!  I have experienced the Atonement for myself, which is why I am here, spreading this good news with all who come into our path.  How great it is to know that He lives and guides us today!  God is in control!

What a comfort it is in my life to know that wherever I may be, whatever I might be feeling... He is there. I hope you know that too. I invite everyone to kneel down tonight and pray to Heavenly Father and ask how much he loves you. Tell him your worries or concerns you may be feeling. I know that if we do this we will receive such a strong feeling of love and peace. It's amazing that we can pray to our Heavenly Father everyday, every minute, or any time we are in need. He hears us and answers us always! Whether it be at that time or in His time... He never leaves us alone. I am so grateful for the knowledge of prayer in my life and know this to be true.

Thank you for all of your love and support! Until next time...
Sister Robb

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Every Member a Missionary

I can't believe I have been out for a month now!  I love my mission!!  It has truly been amazing.  The days are long but the weeks are short.  The miracles and blessings I have experienced are endless.  The church is really such a blessing in our lives... I have seen it when I share my testimony with people in the streets, buses, in their homes, and even riding my bike. When you bear your testimony to others who are willing to listen and hear what you have to say, you see a light fill their eyes and can see their hearts touched by the spirit that bears witness of the gospel. It is truly amazing!

Yesterday was a Civic Holiday and no one really could explain to me what it was other than it's just a break for Canadians or something. We didn't have a break for the holiday but worked even harder! Oh before I forget, I am supposed to tell you that my mission has a Facebook page called the Canada Toronto Mission. 

My favorite teaching moment this week was with a man named Richard. Richard is 28 years old and is from Trinidad.  He is very religious and wants to learn more about religions and is very curious. We received his number as a referral from Elders who said he found a website that said the missionaries have free Bibles and would love to give one to anyone that would like one. After we got his number we called him and set an appointment! We didn't know what to expect when we went to his house. After he opened the door, I knew that he was special. We then sat outside on his porch and taught him the Restoration.  He was asking us so many questions! It was a really good discussion and he kept saying that what we were teaching him makes sense. The first lesson went amazing! I gave him a Book of Mormon, which he was excited to read more about!  We left his house floating on clouds.

Fortunately, we were able to meet with him yesterday and teach more about the Restoration and answer his questions about the Book of Mormon. He told us that he would love to do some service projects! Richard is truly amazing! We invited him to baptism again yesterday and he said, "I cannot commit myself to a religion but I will wait till I get that good feeling"..... he tells us the gospel makes sense when we teach him, so it’s a bit frustrating….all we can do is pray, teach him, and put our trust in Heavenly Father.  I cannot wait to see him progress and bloom into the gospel! 

Last week, Sister Shurtliff and I were able to do some service for a lady named Vida Cambell. She is this sweet, old Jamaican lady who just loves company. She is in her mid 70's and sadly has been in a lot of pain recently.  She is so full of love and praise to God. She is less active because she can't get around very much but is so grateful when missionaries stop by and teach her a lesson and especially serve her. We were able to do yard work for her.  We mowed her lawn, cut some of her trees, pulled weeds, and trimmed some of her bushes. I will never forget a special moment I had with Vida Cambell.  She was bringing us out some water since it was a very hot and humid summer day in London, she was having trouble coming down her front porch stairs so I ran over to help her down and assist her.  She then sat down out of breath and in pain and looked me in the eyes and said, "I thank God for all that you have done for me sister, I can't even begin to tell you how much..." She then began to cry and took her shaking hand in with mine and continued, "...how much this means to me. Your service. Your love. Your happiness has changed my life." I then bent down and gave her a hug... She wouldn't let go of me. That was such an amazing experience to me that I will never forget. 

I invite you to go out and help someone this week! Whether it be a simple act, like helping someone carry out groceries, someone who needs a helping hand, or even just smiling and saying hi or even better... talk with them!  Most of the time people just need someone to listen to them.  It's amazing how much service touches people's heart and lifts their spirit.  I know that "when we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are only in the service of our God." 

The funniest thing that happened to me this week was riding my small bike in the rain. The London weather here has been crazy! One minute you are sweating from the humidity and the heat... The next minute you are drenched from the downpour of rain. The Canadian people here in London say they have never seen a summer like this and it is weird to them. Anyways, last Thursday I was riding my small bike from a visiting some people to come home when it begin to downpour.  Literally, I was riding my bike through several inches of rain on the roads! The rain wasn't going to stop and neither was my bike... I then found out that my brakes don't work on my bike when it gets wet. Don't worry, I'm okay!  Now imagine a sister missionary is soaked and is riding a bike in the rain when and the brakes don't work, interesting stuff happens! While I was riding down this huge hill and my brakes weren't working, I put my feet down to try and stop. While coming down a steep hill, this lady and man came running out to the end of their driveway out into the road.  I finally was able to stop and walked back up to talk to them! They were laughing and said that they have never seen a sight like that before so we all laughed. They then invited us to their porch and gave us a nice warm towel to dry off until the rain stopped.  Their names are Rob and Melissa. They are just very social people and were just happy.  We talked about the gospel, shared a brief message with them and... We get to meet with them again tonight! Hope all goes well, I cannot wait to teach them the Restoration tonight! 

One thing that has really been in my mind throughout this week was this: BE SOMEONE TO SOMEONE.  While on my mission, I have seen and know that we can be that special someone to someone. Don't think that you can't be a missionary because you don't wear a name tag! Every member a missionary! You can make a difference and be that shinning example of the Savior wherever you go if you put your trust and faith in him and have the courage to open your mouth or help those who might need help. I promise that if you do this, you will see and witness so many miracles and blessings in your life and you will experience so much happiness.

Until next time...
Sister Robb

                                        (Poutine-Aka fries with Gravy! I love them!)