Mission Picture top blog

Mission Picture top blog

Monday, November 24, 2014

Have an Attitude of Gratitude

Hello!  I am in Ajax now (otherwise known as "Jam'Ajax" because of the Jamaicans) and I love it so much! Ajax is only a 20-30 minute drive west from Whitby and Oshawa, which was my last area. I am with Sister Poettcker. We both knew of each other since we were in the MTC together and have played sports on preparation days with each other last transfer.  She is from Alberta, Canada and is the youngest of 10 kids! Crazy! She loves sports just like me and plays rugby and basketball. She is very shy is what I have learned, so that has been interesting, but she has a sweet heart.  I am in another car area so that is nice, but to be honest I miss being in a bus area!  I feel like the cars tend to distance you sometimes from the people within your area. That's why I told Sister Poettcker that we are going to buy bus ticket stubs this week and go bus contacting during rush hour one day!  She doesn't like the idea of that and is scared of lots of people, but I told her, “we need to teach more people!”  We will also try singing while we contact this week.  It should be fun and I hope to have some fun, rewarding stories next week to share. J

When I arrived in Ajax they only had 2 investigators. That night when I got here, one called and dropped us. The other one hasn't met with the sisters in 4 weeks so we dropped him.  So….we had no investigators when I got to Ajax!  It's soooo hard to build up an area when that happens!  I told Sister Poettcker that we won't ever again have zero investigators.  It should be an escalator effect and we should always be trying to move the work forward and not an elevator effect where it drastically goes up and goes drastically down.  So there is a lot of work that needs to be done in Ajax but I am up to the challenge and we ARE going to change things J  She doesn't know everyone on the ward list so we are making it a fun 'challenge' to see how fast we can get to know the ward members.  She thought I was crazy to call people we didn't know to come teaching with us, but hey, we saw many miracles come from calling them. Anyone that has a testimony is a missionary J So, I told her that Ajax needs some fixing up and we will build up this area!  She says that I am soooo optimistic and I told her, "Attitude is everything!"  Which I now know to be so true! 

We started out this transfer on a good note!  This past week we found 2 new investigators whose names are Sean and Roberto.  We found them on my first day here in Ajax while walking down Kingston and Maple Street. 

We contacted Sean on the street and he told us that he has met with sister missionaries in the past!  It's been almost two years now and we went and taught him yesterday! He really believes in what we believe essentially.  We answered a lot of his questions about the Book of Mormon and started off things on a good note with him. 

We met Roberto while we were tracting Maple Street. When we met him, he said he was from Mexico!  I spoke to him in Spanish and said, "I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" and he got excited and started speaking rapid Spanish at me.  I told him that I don't know very much Spanish and we laughed and talked more about the church.  He said that he had seen Elders in Mexico where he lived and he had talked to them but nothing really came from it.  We invited him to listen to what we have to say and that we would answer his questions and…..he accepted since I tried speaking Spanish to him J We went over to his house a couple of days ago and answered a lot of his questions about the church and the Book of Mormon.  He said everything makes more sense now! We will be teaching him soon hopefully, it just depends on our schedule. 

We met with a less active couple named Loui and Faye, and they got married only a couple months ago.  It was a miracle that we were able to meet with them because she works three jobs and he works as well!  We went over the Restoration with them and he was really touched about the fact that families are so important and they can be together forever.  Loui then shared that he converted Faye to the gospel and she was baptized only a year ago.  I felt prompted to talk about the temple and saw so many miracles come from it!  Loui explained that Faye has never been to the temple and that he has only been once and loved doing baptisms for the dead.  He then pulled out two family names that he has and said he would like to do the work for them! AH! It was perfect! So we will be trying our very hardest to work with them to go to the temple! Faye is just so busy that may be a problem. We will figure it out and pray for them.

Overall, I love Ajax! I just have a feeling that there is someone that I need to find, someone who is prepared to hear the gospel.  I just need to find them!  I love the cute small ward that is here and we will try our very hardest to bring less-actives back to church and build up this area. We will bring the gospel to Ajax!

With it being Thanksgiving this week, I thought of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk "Grateful in Any Circumstances".  He said, "Our loving Heavenly Father knows that choosing to develop a spirit of gratitude will bring us true joy and great happiness." Let us be grateful for what we have! I am so grateful to have the knowledge of the gospel and having the opportunity to share the gospel with others.  I am grateful for family and all those that support me in this effort.  I am so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, for providing me the Atonement so I can come closer to Heavenly Father daily.  I am so grateful for a living prophet to lead and guide us.  I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon to strengthen my testimony of Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful for Joseph Smith and his prayer that brought fourth the restoration of the gospel.  I am so grateful that we have temples, where we can do sacred ordinances and be sealed together as a family.  I am so grateful for SO many things.  I feel like whenever I give thanks to my Heavenly Father, He gives me more in return.  I love the gospel with all of my heart.  I encourage you all to pray to Heavenly Father and give him a prayer of gratitude and pour your heart to Him.  Always have an “attitude of gratitude'!

Remember what you are thankful for and more importantly, express it! J

There will be much more next time!
Until next time...

Sister Robb 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Winter Wonders in Canada!

The snow has arrived, and will not stop! The Canadians think I'm crazy because I love snow so much J  

First things first... I am getting transferred! I will be moving to Ajax. Thankfully, It's only 30 minutes away from Whitby.  I will be with Sister Poettcker, who has been in Ajax, while her companion will now be moving to be with Sister Duran here in Whitby. I have been able to get to know Sister Poettcker during this last transfer and cannot wait to see what is in store for us. I am so happy I will still be in the same district, so I will see Sister Duran each week, I will really miss her! It is hard for me to leave people that I have come to know and love but each time that I am moved I know that it's Heavenly Father guiding me to where I am supposed to be under the direction of my mission president. How grateful I am to know that each area in which I have served is where I am meant to be.

Now you may be wondering what the meeting was that I attended last Thursday. It was a special training meeting called, "The Work of Salvation in the Canada Toronto Mission." All of the Zone Leaders, District Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, and those missionaries who are training were there. You might be saying then why was I there? I still have no idea. I was not a trainer or anything and yet I was the only one who wasn't a trainer there. One thing that I know for sure is that I was so honored, privileged and blessed to be there. I am changed because of this meeting.

Some very special people were at this special meeting! Brother Donaldson and Brother Heaton. Brother Donaldson served as a mission president while they filmed the District 2! He serves now over the church by looking at the different missions from North America and Canada. Brother Heaton has also served in many different callings and also served as a mission president before. He is now one of the people of the MTC.  So basically they both serve important roles in the church, and are AMAZING. President and Sister Clayton also taught us during this meeting.

They talked about some HUGE changes that will be happening in the mission starting November 25th & 26th at the Zone Conference coming up quickly. They brought all of the leaders (and me) to teach us of these new changes, for example, there will be a new key indicator for Recent Converts/Less Actives coming to church. I will be able to go into more detail after Zone Conference on November 25th & 26th. All I am saying is that there will be some changes in the mission! I know that what I had a chance to learn about is from the Lord. He knows that the mission needs something new and has laid down the basic fundamentals by President Scott (previous mission president). Now is the time to bring forth what this mission has been needing, to see many miracles and blessings coming forth.

This meeting changed me. We talked about being a Full Purpose missionary (Our purpose is to invite others [less actives, recent converts, investigators, and even members] to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end {PMG Ch. 1}). One thing that really strengthened my testimony of the Savior was a question that Brother Donaldson asked, "Can you access the power of the Atonement without ordinances?" Wow. He then began talking about the word Endure and how it means End with the 'Endowment' and began to go crazy all over the chalkboard with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Emphasizing how it is like stairs, with faith being the first, repentance next, and so forth. The word repent means to "get back on the path" and how sin "gets us off the path".

One funny thing Brother Donaldson said was, "If you are passing by someone on the street... Are they a member of the church?" We were all confused what he was meaning. An elder shouted, "No but they are our brother or sister!" He then said that, "Everyone is a member! We all were 'Pre-mortal' Latter-day Saints!" Funny, we all just laughed and laughed.  That's one thing I have realized is that everyone here on the earth is 'a member', our brother and sister, and we are here to help them with this 'blind' test here on earth.  We are giving people the opportunity to bring to their remembrance the knowledge we have gained in this earthly life to be able to live permanently with our Heavenly Father. We came here to this earth without any remembrance of the plan, without heavenly parents, without Christ, without anything.  We gained a body, our spirits, and the chance to be tested to return back to our Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for this knowledge that I have gained and that I have the opportunity to talk with as many of my brothers and sisters about where we came from, what our purpose here in life is, and where we will be going. I am so fortunate to be able to help others strengthen their faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. I am truly so grateful to be serving a mission here in Canada. I love it so much and try and live each day like it was my last!

This week has been amazing! We had our open house on Sunday, and It went great! Even though there was a ton of snow, there was a great turnout. I know that this was the perfect activity to get the ward involved and to bond with one another. We have been working on this open house for weeks! Doing boards, handing out a couple thousand of invitations (at least it seemed like that), and figuring out a chapel tour.  All of the hard work paid off, as it was a huge success J

This week I have been thinking and reflecting a lot about my mission. I first wondered, why Canada? After thinking about it, I feel that I am in the best mission in the world! I am truly honored to serve where Joseph Smith served. Ontario is truly such a special place, the people, spirit, and culture is amazing here! I know that I am meant to be here. I know that I have planted so many seeds, so far, in Canada.  Most of all, I have come so much closer to Christ.  I know that He lives! He is my Savior, my brother, and Redeemer. I have felt the power of the Atonement change me so much while being on my mission. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and his sacrifice that he has made for me, for you, and for everyone. I have felt that as I have taught people about Jesus Christ, when I invite one of my brothers or sisters to pray to Heavenly Father, to read from the Book of Mormon, to come to church and partake of the sacrament, or to do anything... I know that I am helping them apply the Atonement in their life by changing their old behavior and trying to change their life. Jesus Christ is truly with us. He is my best friend and I know that he carries me through the hardest times and is cheering me on in the best of times. I am and will forever be eternally grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. He is my everything, helping me return to live back with my Father in Heaven. "I Know that My Redeemer Lives!"

Until next time...
Sister Robb

Monday, November 10, 2014

Look For The Blessings

So I got some news!  The zone leaders in our area called Sister Duran and I and said they needed to talk to me.  They said that I need to go up north to Brampton this Thursday (3 days before transfer calls) and go to a 'special training'.  I thought they were joking but they weren't!  Sister Duran said that she has never heard of this special training, we asked around with other missionaries and no one really knows!  So a heads up... I might be training next transfer!  I will update everyone next week about transfer calls and what the special training was for!

One thing that hasn't changed is my burning passion for missionary work.  Sister Duran and I went tracting for an hour when it was -1 degrees Celsius the other night!  As the weather gets colder and colder here in Canada, it makes me more determined to share the gospel.  I serve him with absolutely EVERYTHING that I am! I've learned throughout my life and especially while I've been serving a mission, that if you want something to change, if you want to see the hand of God in your day more, then look for it!  Be more sincere and keep his commandments, it's simple, just do the things He wants you to.  I love this Gospel so much!

Johan has been super sick the past week and was out of town to help his mom and his sister with some family things, so hopefully we can teach him this week!

Merylon's Birthday Party
We went to Merylon's 8th birthday party! Before we celebrated, we taught her and her family about the restoration, it was amazing!  I cannot wait to continue teaching them.

I had a cool experience with a prompting from the spirit.  Sister Duran and I had appointment after appointment cancel, so I called up some potential investigators!  I flipped open the book we had and started looking at the names and was lead right to this one lady.  Her name is Terra.  We called her and she said that her friend died just a couple of weeks ago and that she had been really down lately.  She had prayed that morning for some help and her prayers were answered!  We called her and she told us to come by.  We went in and she told us that she is native and that the last time the missionaries were here, she shut the door on them so letting us in was a big deal.  We taught her about the Book of Mormon and how Christ came and visited the people in the Americas and she loved it!  She wanted to read it because she said she knew that their had to be a record of the people in the Americas.  She let us know that she is moving so we now have the opportunity to help her this week.

This week consisted of tracting, finding, raking people's leaves, moving Sister Nethercott's yard, and visiting many of the less-actives.   Always opportunities for service, which makes this calling so great!

Even though it is getting colder and colder outside, my heart is always warm when I am sharing the gospel with Heavenly Father's children.  I am truly so grateful to be a missionary in the Canada Toronto mission.  I have felt and experienced the spirit everyday being out here.  I have prayed about Joseph Smith and my prayers have been answered and confirmed to me that he was a prophet and restored the Church of Jesus Christ in these Latter-days.  I am so grateful for the countless blessings and trust that Heavenly Father has given me.  I know that I am not perfect... but as long as I do my best, Heavenly Father will do the rest.   

Until next time...

Sister Robb

Monday, November 3, 2014

Be Strong & Have Courage

Canada. Oh Canada. It is NovemBRRR!! It snowed on November 1st.... I guess that's Canada's way of saying, "Okay, Halloween is over. Christmas is coming!" So needless to say, I have been using my coat, mittens, wool tights, and bundling myself up.  The cold has come a bit early this year is what people have been telling us, and it is expected to be a brutal winter this year.  Good thing I like snow, eh?
This past week has been great! I was so fortunate to hear from two amazing general authorities here for the Oshawa Ontario Stake Conference.  We got to hear from Elder Larry S. Kacher and Daniel F. Dunnigan!  Elder Kacher spoke in the last General Conference and was amazing. The Stake Conference was amazing!  President and Sister Clayton were there, the general authorities, and a new stake presidency was called.  The spirit was so strong there.  Some things that I loved about Stake Conference were some words from Elder Dunnigan and Kacher.
Elder Dunnigan:
Members live the gospel, love people, and invite anyone where the spirit is present!  We live in the dispensation that Jacob 5 talks about.  Heavenly Father is not giving up on us and is sending more servants in his vineyard.  We are so privileged to be living the prophecy that was given thousands of years ago.
Elder Kacher:
The Holy Ghost is a presence of Heavenly Father….we are so blessed to know that we aren't alone.  We are NEVER alone.  He is always with us.  He calls the weak and the simple for a reason, but it is from Him that we can gain our strength because HE LIVES!
I wish I could give more details but time is scarce on the computer.  President and Sister Clayton stood up and bore the strongest testimonies also. I love my mission president and his wife. They are amazing.  I feel like they are MY parents here in Canada on my mission. It confirmed my testimony that Heavenly Father calls those who are meant to serve.  I KNOW and sustain and support the general authorities who are serving for the church and especially our beloved prophet Tomas S. Monson.  How blessed we are to have a living prophet on the earth today!
Johan is doing well!  He has been sick for the past couple days but we have been re-teaching him the lessons again and have retaught him the Restoration. We taught him at a member's home and the spirit was so strong there.  He knows that God is our Eternal Father.  He knows that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior and Redeemer of the world.  He is now just making his testimony solid on Joseph Smith and has watched the Restoration movie, praying specifically, and continually having faith.  He wants to get baptized. The only problem is his word of wisdom issues.  I believe that once he is living the word of wisdom, it will all click into place. We will really be trying this week to make that happen! J He is amazing and I love Johan so much.  Please keep him in your prayers to help him.
Update on the Felipe's!  They all came to church yesterday for Stake Conference!  We will be going to their house tomorrow on Merolyn's 8th birthday to teach another lesson J We had our first lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she loved it.  In the end Brother Felipe was telling us that he wants to baptize his daughter, receive his patriarchal blessing, go through the temple, and be sealed as a family.  He said that it scares him to think that he isn't sealed to his family and cannot wait to change he and his family’s life.  I can tell that they already have taken a huge step.  AH, they are amazing!  I cannot wait for tomorrow to continue to teach and see the Felipe family!

Sister Duran and I, the Elders, and Sister Training leaders all sang in the park!  It was so much fun!  3 of us would sing while all of the other missionaries would scatter throughout the park and contact people.  I hope that when Christmas time comes around we will do that again and serve hot chocolate next time.  Even though it was cold, my heart was warmed while singing the hymns with boldness and love.
Sister Duran and I have raked sooo many leaves this past week!  We would put the rake’s in our car and drive around and just help people.  We helped this non-member lady, Cynthia, rake her leaves.  We felt prompted to go to this particular house and followed the prompting by knocking on her door.  She was baffled and kept saying, "You've got to be kidding me!  Wow!" She began telling us that she was thinking about how she was going to rake the leaves with her bad back and her husband's damaged knee.  We were an answer to her prayers! J So we raked her front and backyard for her.  In the end she just embraced us with the biggest hug and began to cry telling us thank you so much. She was amazed that 2 strangers would stop to do a kind deed. Who knows, maybe if it snows here in a couple weeks we can return to shovel her driveway?  

Just like what President Monson encourages us to do, "Be Strong and of a Good Courage" Since that first prayer of faith by a young boy, that first glimmer of light penetrated the darkness and has forever changed the world.  "There has always been and will ever be an effort to deceive, derail... the plan of life.  The truth will always be opposed." (by Elder Lawrence C. Corbridge)  So…..BE STRONG & HAVE COURAGE. The Lord is our light, so let us not fear! I know and love the gospel with all of my heart J  We are all beacons of light.  Continue to be examples. Continue to shine the Light of Christ for others to see. "May we continually let our light, His Light, which is in us--SHINE!" (Elder Craig C. Christensen) As children of light, we have the gospel that shines brightly. Continue to do all that you can do to keep that light strong.  Let us not take for granted what a beautiful gift we have been given, that so many others search their whole lives to find.  Nothing gives me more joy than being happy and inviting others to have that happiness as well!! 
How great is my calling, how GREAT is OUR calling!!!
Until next time...
Sister Robb