Mission Picture top blog

Mission Picture top blog

Monday, October 27, 2014

Language Is No Barrier For The Spirit

This week has been an amazing experience to be a missionary!  I love it so much!! What I love about Canada is that every day is so different from the next and is never boring.  Let me explain 5 hours of my life in one day this week.
Sister Duran and I went to a dinner appointment with a family in our ward who is from Mexico. We arrived and everyone was gone but grandma….Grandma is visiting from Mexico for the next 3 months and speaks no English. We tried so hard to communicate with her and did pretty good! We were proud of ourselves J The next appointment we went to was with the Liu family who aren’t active anymore. The Liu's are Chinese and understand bits of English but can't speak it very well. We brought the Guam's (who thankfully speak Mandarin Chinese) with us to translate.  I would say about 95% of the lesson was in Mandarin Chinese ha-ha.  After we answered their questions about the gospel, we then left to our last appointment for the night. We arrived at the Felipe's home to teach them. They are an amazing family! The parents are from Brazil and speak Portuguese and have 3 of the cutest kids. Good thing the husband was able to translate Portuguese for us to his wife who understands only bits and pieces of what we were saying.  After the night was through, I told Sister Duran, "You know, I thought that I was coming to Canada as an English speaking missionary.  I would have never thought or imagined that I would try to speak Spanish, Chinese, and Portuguese all in one night."  We just laughed.  I love being a missionary in the Canada Toronto mission, it is the BEST!!
So Johan, He is doing amazing!  He is really progressing so much. Yes, he has had some of the hardest battles at home with his sisters and brothers, but he is still trying his hardest to find the truth of the gospel for himself.  His Word of Wisdom problems have improved so much!  He came to church yesterday coffee and smoke free that morning.  By the end of church, we told him he was 12 hours free!  It was hard for him but as we showed him how strong he is, he wants to continually do better! The last part that we believe will convert him to the gospel is his testimony in Joseph Smith. This week we will really focus on Joseph Smith and help him gain his own testimony of him!  He is amazing. I love Johan so much!  Last week, we were able to set a date with Johan for baptism for November 15th! We are so excited to be meeting with him this week and really help him progress and help him with his own testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel.
This week has been a week of service! We were able to rake many people's lawns, rake an apartment complex's yard for a non-member, helped a member with moving some things, and helped another lady with her stairwell that leads to her basement door. The other two sisters and two elders came and helped with this project. We had to dig and take down this rock wall that lined the 10 foot wall down to the doorway. It was physically exhausting but we did it J  I love service because "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." (Mosiah 2:17)
I had a really tender experience yesterday at church. Let me start by telling you a little about the Felipe's. When we were ‘finally’ able to come to their home and teach them a lesson for the first time, Brother Felipe just began to cry and cry after my testimony.  He then began to tell us that he was so sorry for not answering the doors to the other missionaries in the past and how stubborn he was towards us when we first met him and just thanked us that we never gave up on him and his family.  He then said that he knows the church is true and wants to change his and his family’s  life starting now!  He was just so humble and loving towards Heavenly Father.  He then said that he would love to have us come over and teach their 7 year old daughter who will be turning 8 the beginning of November and help her get ready to be baptized.
The story does not end there. Brother Felipe showed up to church yesterday and sat by me.  During fast and testimony meeting he leaned over to me and asked if you have to be an active member to bear your testimony?  I said "No.  Anyone who has a testimony can share it..." I saw him think over those words and he began to cry and after a minute he stood up and went to the pulpit and bore his testimony.  He began to thank Heavenly Father for answering his silent prayers and how his prayers were answered by two sister missionaries knocking at their door and loving him before he even said anything.  He knows that the church is true and cannot wait to get back into church with his whole family, his wife, daughter, and two sons—and to come back to Christ!
I had the strongest feeling come over me that words can’t even describe.  I felt in my heart that this is what missionary work is all about--bringing others unto Christ. Whether it be by reactivation of a family, helping investigators to develop their own testimony, service, or simply just sharing the gospel with others every day.  I knew in that instant, while Brother Felipe was bearing his testimony that he was changed. His family will forever be changed.  I will always hold this experience near and dear to my heart.
“Remember, remember that it is upon the rock of my Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that I must build my foundation…which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if I build I cannot fall.”  As a representative of Jesus Christ, I am constantly reminded this.  I know that in this world we live in, it can be dark. Stand with the Lord in all that you do. Stand with Lehi and Nephi in following the Lord. Stand with Alma and the sons of Mosiah.  Stand with Abinidi when you feel that you are alone.  Stand with Mormon and be a soldier in today's world.  Stand and keep building your foundation. You are strong!
Learning how to use chop-sticks and enjoying sushi with Sister Durans!
Until next time...
Sister Robb

Monday, October 20, 2014

Helping at St. Vincent's Kitchen

This week has been amazing! I am truly so grateful to be serving a mission in Canada. I love it here!!   I love the people, the diversity, and to be an instrument in spreading the gospel.

Here in Oshawa, the missionaries get together every other Saturday and help out in the St. Vincent Kitchen doing service. It's a place where people pay for their dinner, buy a ticket, and come in to sit down someplace where it is warm and get fed good food.  I loved every minute of it!  I helped serve tables, wearing a little apron and hairnet, bringing food from the back of the kitchen. I met so many people who would just grab my hand and tell me 'thank you'.  It was such a humbling experience and such an amazing opportunity to be able to help others. I had some men tell me "you just glow" and that "I am the happiest person that they have met".  I was then able to bear my testimony to them that "There is a Heavenly Father who knows us individually and loves us. I know my divine potential and that is what I am here to do as a missionary in Canada.  To preach about the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ." The spirit was so strong.  I taught them as I served them food, it was the BEST!

One particular experience was when I taught a table full of men who were wondering what organization was serving them today.  I smiled and said proudly, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." They began to ask questions that they thought would throw me off guard and make me stumble... But I didn't.  They got a new insight about the church and found it really interesting.  As the 'worldly questions' dwindled they began to ask me, "So you mentioned prayer... Do you believe that he really hears us?" I then taught them that "YES! He hears our prayers and he wants to hear from all of his children daily.  He loves us so much..." I then bore my testimony about prayer and even taught several of them how to pray.  I knew that the spirit prompted me to teach them this short lesson. I invited them all to pray that night and they all agreed! They were so grateful.  It really made me realize that something so simple, such as prayer, is so impactful and important in our daily lives.  When we build a strong testimony of the simple doctrines, we create the strongest testimony. "  Remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation..." (Helaman 5:12)

Johan is doing great! He has cut down on coffee and smoking by half so far than what he did before.  He came to church yesterday and loved it! He is doing well!  We will just keep teaching him and doing our best to teach him with what he needs, that is, whatever the spirit tells us J

Now to some exciting news! We have two new investigators and they are awesome! The first is Rana, she is from Iraq!  She is a mother of 3 children: Zuzu, Lulu, and Medo. We ran into her while she was outside watching her kids play last week. We stopped and talked to her about service and how we would be happy to rake her leaves for her, and we did! She was so impressed that two young girls would just offer service and invited us back to come teach her. We taught her the restoration and she loved it!  It was really hard because of her background and knowledge, but it was so powerful. We talked to her a lot about Jesus Christ. When I showed her the picture of Jesus Christ in the garden of Gethsemane and when he hung on the cross on Calvary she began to cry saying that she felt something warm inside her heart. We told her that was the spirit! She said it was so sad to see him on the cross, but she gained a love for Jesus Christ instantly.  It was amazing!  We than began teaching about Joseph Smith's first vision and his experiences, she couldn't help but smile!  She thought it was amazing and loved it!  We will be teaching her again sometime this week. She even went as far to set a baptismal date for November 15th!!  We hope and pray all goes well while we teach her and hope to teach  her husband, Sam next time.

The second investigator is Tara! Tara is 32 years old and was a former investigator years and years ago. Last week I felt prompted just to call people that were in this building that missionaries had met before.  We left messages for them and Tara got back with us!  She's the only one I remember while calling, leaving messages, because she was so bubbly and happy with her voice mail!  She said after she heard the voice mail she knew she needed to return our call. So she called us last night and asked if we could come teach her as soon as possible, that night!  We ran over and taught her a lesson and it went so well!  She doesn't have much background with the bible and loves learning about different religions.  When we started talking about Jesus Christ she said that it all makes sense and that it just feels right and wants to be apart of it! She got in a major car accident after taking lessons from the Elders a year ago and she knew that she was meant to still be here on Earth! Even though she lost 20% of her short-term memory, she still remembers all of the lessons! We have her write notes during our lessons and she loves it!  She is amazing.  She was so close to baptism last time and thinks she might be ready now.  She is just struggling with some Word of Wisdom issues but we will help her with that!  We will be teaching her at least two times this week and are so excited.

I felt I should share a short message about Preach My Gospel.  I have learned that it's a tool that's not just for missionaries but it's for everyone in the church! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a missionary church.  As members, we share the gospel everyday! Whether it be by your example, testimony, and spirit that you share with others, you are sharing the gospel. The front cover says "Preach MY Gospel"... It's Christ's gospel. We are so blessed to be apart of his gospel and have the chance to share it with those who are in need of it or don't even know about it.  I would invite each of you to pull out your Preach My Gospel books and learn from it!  One particular thing I love is the Christlike Attributes in Chapter 6. Pick one that stands out to you.  Write it down and then read about it! Study the scriptures that go along with the teachings of it!  Then write down what you can do to develop that Christlike attribute where you can see it then strive to live it. I can promise that you'll see a difference in your life as you become more like Christ and strive to be more like him in everything you do everyday!

I love the gospel.  It's the anchor in my life that keeps me in place when I am being tossed and turned about in the 'worldly sea'.

Fall is here and will be gone soon!  The weather is changing and winter is almost here! Thanks for all your love and prayers.

Until next time...

Sister Robb

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

White-Washing Whitby!

October 14, 2014
Before I tell you about my new area, I wanted to tell you about my new companion, Sister Duran. Sister Duran is from the Philippines, she is 21 years old, and is hilarious! She is so bold with everything that she does and has such a strong testimony of the church.  Her parents were converts to the church and she is the first in her family to serve a mission! I just love her to death! J  I knew Sister Duran from my first area in London because we were once in the same district funny enough. I am so grateful that we both white-washed into Whitby together. We make the best companionship and I know we are going to kill it here in Whitby!
Oh blessed Whitby! I LOVE IT HERE! The population of Whitby is 125,000 and Oshawa is 157,000. It is so cute here! We are right along a lake and it is really quite chilly here. I am living in the basement of a Muslim's family's home. They are really nice and let us come up once a week at night and do our laundry. After we dropped off our luggage, we went straight to work.

The first thing we did was visit a less active lady named Cavell Clarke. When we first went and visited her, she was a bit cranky ha. She kept saying, "There is nothing you can do to get me to church! I am not going back." We talked with her, made her laugh, and even sang for her! In the end she finally said, "Okay I'll make you a deal..." and, drum roll…... She came to church on Sunday!  She loves us so much and is just the funniest, old, cranky lady I have ever met. Yes she's stubborn but we make her laugh and smile and we are getting her back in the gospel! We will do whatever it takes J even if we put on mustaches and take pictures, ha-ha!
My new companion, Sister Duran and Sister Nethercott....
The sweetest old lady ever!!
The next day we went and visited an elderly woman named Sister Nethercott. She is originally from England and she showed us pictures and told us that she was one of the first converts in her area and helped create a ward!  How cool is that.  She is 90 years old and is just the sweetest, quiet old lady. Ah, I love her!  We went back on Saturday and did yard work for her and will do it every week for her. When it snows (which is probably soon) we'll shovel her driveway.
Since Sister Duran and I white-washed, we  knew we needed to meet our investigators asap! The one I would love to talk about is Johan Muntz, he is 32 years old and has always lived in Canada. He got contacted by missionaries when he went to Toronto and knew he needed to talk to missionaries. He has been getting taught for the past 3 weeks and so far loves the gospel. He smokes unfortunately, but hopefully we have that taken care of that! We taught him the Quit Smoking Program and he committed to a quit date for October 25th! The spirit was so strong when we bore our testimonies to him. He is amazing and loves us! I am so excited to keep teaching Johan! I just love him!
Sister Duran and I had zone council last Friday and we did a musical number in front of 20-30 missionaries! We sang, I Know That my Redeemer Lives. It was an incredible, spiritual experience, it was awesome!

On Saturday we had A Day in the Life of a Missionary! What it means is that members follow us all day and take pictures of us doing missionary things and put it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Our whole mission did this because of the Book of Mormon play that was going on in Toronto. We wanted the public to know exactly what missionaries do every day. We did the service for Sister Nethercott, tracted lots of areas, went and visited Cavell, taught a HUGE Jamaican part member family in the ward, and got so many referrals and visited them! It was truly a day of miracles and I saw the Lord's hand in everything.
One thing that I have been able to experience here is culture. YES. The closer I get to Toronto, the more diversity and culture I see and hear.  It's amazing!  I love it so much! Heavenly Father sent me to Canada speaking English, but I am so excited to learn many ways to speak to people from across the world. I understand the Patua Jamaican language! It was hilarious! This older Jamaican lady, from the part member family talked in Patua super-fast and I understood it!  Everyone freaked out and was giving me high fives. AH. I love Jamaicans! We ate dinner with the Kalala family (from Congo, Africa) in our ward for Thanksgiving yesterday and they are French! Now how many people can say that they had a French Thanksgiving?! It was so fun to pull out the French I learned in high school years ago and be able to laugh, talk, and listen to it! I am trying to learn how to introduce myself in Chinese, Japanese, Patua, French, Arabic, German, and more! I LOVE CANADA.
Yesterday (Monday) was Thanksgiving in Canada! I reread Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk from last general conference 'Grateful in Any Circumstances'.  I have really learned to be truly grateful on my mission. I have been through so many experiences on my mission so far, that I often take a moment to pray and thank my Heavenly Father for all that he has given me. What I have learned is that "instead of being thankful for things, we [need to] focus on being thankful in our circumstances, whatever they may be." I know that is true. We are truly SO blessed to have the knowledge of the gospel in our lives and how much comfort and peace we gain from it! I have seen that every day in my live since I have been a missionary. When I talk to people and share the gospel with them, I feel what others feel. It's incredible to see how Heavenly Father sees each of his precious children through my eyes. Oh how blessed we are to be members for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I know that when we develop a spirit of gratitude, it will bring us true joy and so much happiness. I love what President Uchtdorf said: "Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges." BE GRATEFUL! Have an attitude of gratitude J
I am super excited to serve here in Whitby.  Many miracles are going to come and I am so excited! I love Whitby and Oshawa so much. The members and people are amazing here. I am so grateful Sister Duran and I white-washed into this area. I am so excited to keep pressing the work forward as His servant. The church is true!  I have never relied on the Savior more in my life then now. As I have prayed countless times each day, read from my scriptures daily, and fasted... I am coming closer and closer to Christ every day.  I invite each of you to write down one thing you are grateful for each day. Pray about it. Tell Heavenly Father what you are grateful for daily. He is our Father and he wants to hear from us often because he loves us more than we can imagine.
I will be forever grateful for……
This opportunity to serve the Lord!
The inspired leaders I’ve learned from.
The atonement of our Savior and Redeemer.
The Book of Mormon; that book is incredible J
Becoming a missionary rather than just serving a mission!

Until next time...

Sister Robb