Mission Picture top blog

Mission Picture top blog

Monday, September 28, 2015

Faith, Hope & Love

This week I learned a lot about the spirit and I know that everything that I was able to experience was for a reason--it strengthened my testimony of our individual worth and that He KNOWS us perfectly.

I went on exchanges last week with the Markham Cantonese sisters!! I thought Chinese was interesting, but Cantonese is a whole new world!  There are nine dialects (I believe)!  The only words I was able to say were, "I know that is true." in Cantonese. Yes, it took a lot of practice, but I was able to get it.  Here are some neat experiences I had!

While on exchanges, we taught a really neat lesson to one of their investigators William, in English. He is 17 years old and we had the opportunity to talk about the sacrament and how he can deepen his testimony of Christ through the sacrament.  He attends every week and I know will be baptized someday after he turns 18 J One really neat experience we had was when I pulled out my pocketsize, hymn book and read "As Now We Take the Sacrament" [hymn 169]. In the song it talks about:
LINE (1) Why we partake of the sacrament
LINE (2) What we do while partaking of the sacrament
LINE (3) What we do after partaking of the sacrament
William was really silent and said he had never thought of the sacrament like that.  We ended off with the scripture D&C 138:1-4
"I sat in my room pondering over the scriptures; And reflecting upon the great atoning sacrifice that was made by the Son of God, for the redemption of the world; And the great and wonderful love made manifest by the Father and the Son in the coming of the Redeemer into the world; That through his atonement, and by obedience to the principles of the gospel, mankind might be saved."
I know what President Joseph F. Smith said is true!  The scriptures and spirit are really the key in unlocking personal revelation for our lives.  I have done this as I read more about Christ and pray after my studies, the spirit has confirmed to me that Jesus Christ is truly our Savior.  Heavenly Father loves us unconditionally and that as we live the gospel and are obedient to the commandments and our covenants, we will one day return to live with them again J

It was also interesting to sit in a language lesson and to really see the spirit work with those we get to teach.  As I focused in as hard as I could and paid attention to the spirit, there was a time in the lesson that the spirit came suddenly while Sister Chu was talking and went away.  At the end of the day I was so physically and spiritually drained……It was the best!! 

Last week was Sister Jensen's birthday!  I woke up and thought, she's going to have the best mission birthday ever!!  Lots of people were able to call and text her that day, we went out to a surprise sushi lunch with our district, and she received countless letters and hugs throughout the entire week J She is still getting wished happy birthday!  She's just the cutest, and I love serving and learning from her!

Another great present was Zone Conference! Wow!  We really focused on the spirit and bringing it into our lessons even more!  We had some really incredible role plays and when I said the first vision, it brought me to tears (as well with the elders... shh...). Haha.  I just love recognizing the spirit and feeling the love that Heavenly Father has for his children!  There was so much that was talked about that has really just refined me as a missionary J I am so grateful for Heavenly Father in inspiring those who talked and to share their message with us. 

Saturday was the women's broadcast and I loved everything that was said! Wow.  I loved when Sister Wixom said, "He knows who you can become!  He needs YOU. You need HIM!" I have really come to learn that as I have relied on Heavenly Father every single day.  He's the one that truly helps the people here as I am just an instrument for him, it's incredible to see.  Most of all, I learned from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf about FAITH, HOPE & LOVE.  As we increase our faith, our hope and brightness will uplift our spirits and we will have greater confidence to face those challenges we face and will love and come closer to our Heavenly Father.  I can testify that what he shared is a very special message and is one that needs to be shared. 

Increase your faith in Christ as you study the scriptures, pray for faith, and go to the temple.  The hope that will be created will be an eternal anchor in our life, not allowing us to sway and will help us overcome doubts and darkness.  As we push the door of darkness with our faith and hope, we will open the door to feel the pure love that Heavenly Father has for each of us.

Conference will be great this weekend and I am so excited!  I know it's going to be a very special one.

Until next time...
Sister Robb

Monday, September 21, 2015

Best Week Ever!

This week we were so amazed to be able to witness SO many incredible blessings and miracles! It's like the scripture Malachi 3:10 says:

" Bring ye all the [faith, strength, and energy] to the [Lord]... and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out blessing[s], that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
The blessings we saw were not just physical, but also spiritual! It truly is the Work of Salvation that is being put into place in this part of the vineyard J

-We were able to go and 'heart attack' Sister Shoemaker's door for her birthday (the best member missionary) and she loved it! 
-We helped a less-active's non-member family move!  It was great to be able to get on a ladder and help haul out some wood from the garage. We got to talk to their neighbors and they said they will use the missionaries in the future! They loved how fast we moved everything... But I believe they felt the spirit J 

Here's a funny story:
Last week I was kneeling by my bedside before going to bed and was praying to Heavenly Father.  A random thought came across my mind about fruit and I said to myself, "I haven't had fruit in a while... hmmm... We'll get some on Monday! Sorry Heavenly Father... Please help us as we help Sandra..." I kid you not. I have never received so much fruit in my entire life! Everywhere we would go and visit people, they would give us fruit! Our neighbor across the street, AL, waved his hand at us and told us to come over and gave us grocery sacks of pears from his trees in his backyard. We even got some from a less-active we visited last night (who is now returning).  We laughed and laughed so hard whenever someone would say, "Here you go sisters!" and pull out a bag of fruit!  Just like Malachi's scripture, no room to receive it! Wow! It was a funny lesson we learned this week J

-Brian is doing great! He loves reading the Book of Mormon stories we gave him and is praying every day! He came to church on Sunday for all three hours! YES!

Here is a really neat story! We were going over to visit Brother Macdonald and share the Restoration with him to start from the beginning and feel his strong testimony.  He opened up the door and said, "Hello Sisters!  I brought a friend to come today.  Meet Marta!" Marta was sitting on the couch and just had the biggest smile on her face!  Marta is a best friend of Michael Macdonald and have been for years. She is a very strong Catholic and was so excited to meet with us. We taught the Restoration and she asked, "Please tell me why you don't drink coffee, tea, or alcohol."  We briefly explained why and about Joseph Smith. She then said that she has some health issues that no one really knows about and that the doctor said those exact words not to do: don't smoke, drink, have caffeine or tea. After he said that, she instantly thought of Mormon's and was so curious why!  She hasn't drank those things much anymore, except for her tea.  After we shared our testimonies with her, she said, "That's it!  No more tea for me!  Michael, do you want it?" We looked at Brother Macdonald and he said, "No... I don't drink that stuff. Can I get you water?" I couldn't stop smiling J Ahhh... Long story short... The Restoration lesson was incredible and she felt the spirit after reading Moroni's promise.  She told us that she really feels and knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet!  "I wonder why he's not a prophet in my church!" The only thing is, she is just really attached to her church and didn't accept a Book of Mormon. We're excited to teach the Plan of Salvation this week and see what she thinks.

Returning Members:
-Breaking News everyone! We got Sister Phelan's rum off of her and she is now living the Word of Wisdom and is free!  We are so proud of her and we know that she is too.  Most of all, we know Heavenly Father is! 
-We dropped by Brother Macdonald his picture of Christ and when we were there, he said, "Sisters... I have a question." "Yes Brother Macdonald?" "I was wondering... How do I pay my tithing? I really want to do that, could you help me?" "YES Brother Macdonald! We will..." "Oh yeah!! Guess what!! I found in the Book of Mormon where it talks about the Priesthood and Ammon and..." Sigh. We love Brother Macdonald! J 

Referrals Rained from Heaven:
-We received SO many media referrals that texts were coming in like crazy to drop off Book of Mormons and Bibles to people! Here are a couple of incredible people we met!
  • First: Richard Chan--He went to the Polynesian Cultural center for a vacation for a couple of weeks with his dad, he wandered over to the church next door. He requested missionaries (us) to deliver a Book of Mormon to him to read. He was so touched by the spirit and said to us, "I really want to help the church out with any service. What can I do to help the church?" He is incredible!! We are excited to start teaching him J
  • Second: Dave Johnson--He requested a Bible! We went to his home and he said that he reads the Bible every day and he said that it's so used and old that it fell apart on him. While reading the Bible online, an ad popped up on the side to request a new Bible from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He loved how it said Christ in it and did it immediately! He was so excited to see us and is ecstatic that we'll bring him a large print this week for him. After saying that he said, "You are so nice! When you come back with the Bible, we'll talk about what you share!"  
  • I could go on and on…So many referrals from online, members, and non-members even!
Chinese Exchange:
I was able to go on exchanges with Sister Penrod and Sister Kuo. They are the Mandarin Chinese Sisters in Mississauga. AH! It was one of my favorite exchanges!  One of the highlights was sitting in a lesson with the sisters as they taught one of their incredible investigators named Chad.  I was able to follow along (somehow) to what they were saying and be able to--not only feel--but, to see the spirit working with Chad as the sisters taught about Faith and Repentance. Later that night when we played badminton (yes... The Chinese people play badminton at the church once a week--FUN!) Chad began to tell me that he wants to serve a mission and we began talking with how he came to know more about God and Jesus Christ. In the end... He told me about his father's death a year ago and how he began to read the Bible.  It was so incredible! I am so grateful for the spirit. Truly... It's everything! As I look at those I meet here, I see everyone as a precious spirit of our Heavenly Father J 

ESL Miracles:
After our ESL class on Saturday, we invited all of our students to the kitchen and gave them lasagna we cooked for them. As we talked in the kitchen, Hatem said, "Sisters! Could we all 'hang out' another day this week other than ESL to talk and learn more?" (Not only did this make me happy, but that he used one of our vocabulary words! So proud of him) I then pulled out a Restoration pamphlet and told him what we would be talking about and three of them said yes! We are going to start teaching some of our ESL students about the gospel!! I am SO excited J

Speaking of miracles, I just got off of the phone with a lady named Osha who had met with missionaries a long time ago and told me, "I just felt the spirit come over me and I felt like I should call!" It's been years and she just found our number after she felt the spirit! I can't wait to see what's in store when we visit her! 

Overall... We were so blessed to see the Work of Salvation bring about countless miracles! We literally cannon balled into the work that Heavenly Father wants us to be doing here in the Canada Toronto Mission. With 6 new investigators, 22 lessons, investigators attending church, and working with the ward to help many others come unto Christ... It was the best week!!

Hold to the Rod!!
I honestly love being a missionary J I have never been so happy my entire life!  I know what Lehi says is true about partaking of the fruit of the gospel "whose fruit was desirable to make one happy... and as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy” (1 Nephi 8:10,12).  The gospel is SO joyful!! It reminds me of the talk "Living the Gospel Joyfully" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. He says, "Walking in the path of discipleship does not need to be a bitter experience. It “is sweet above all that is sweet.”  It is not a burden that weighs us down. Discipleship lifts our spirits and lightens our hearts. It inspires us with faith, hope, and charity. It fills our spirits with light in times of darkness, and serenity during times of sorrow. It gives us divine power and lasting joy." As disciples of Christ--remember to be joyful. You have something that brings eternal happiness that lots of others do not have! Remember to reach out and share that joy with those who are in need of it at this time. I know that as you do so, you will also experience joy "...that there shall not be room enough to receive it." I know the gospel is true with all of my heart J

Until next time...
Sister Robb

Until next time...
Sister Robb

Monday, September 14, 2015

5 little words...Live the Doctrine of Christ!

Marhaba! (Hello in Arabic)

Fall is on the way and summer is quickly leaving! This week was full of smiles, laughs, and tender mercies of the Lord J

On Wednesday morning, we received a call just after we woke up at 6:30am from President Clayton! He told us that we will be in a trio with Sister Mencarelli for the day and drop her off at the airport later that night to go back home to Italy! We had such a great day as we worked together and taught some returning members and seeing those people she loved when she served here in Mississauga. Just as we dropped her off at her terminal... She turned around and began walking with her luggage. I looked at Sister Jensen and smiled and said, "Let's bring it home." She said alright, and we both put our arms up in the air and shouted, "Hurrah for Israel!!" Sister Mencarelli turned around and smiled with tears in her eyes.  She is absolutely incredible!  Her story of her conversion is incredible and is inspiring.  It was a great day to talk with her and to see her mission be wrapped up in an amazing way J I love her!

We taught Michael Macdonald again... He is AMAZING!! We asked him how his prayers are going and he told us some incredible answers that he has had to prayer since we last saw him!  His back pain went away after he prayed and Heavenly Father told him what to do, he made it to work after a random cab pulled up and took him to work, etc etc.  He reads the Book of Mormon at least 30 minutes every day! When we asked him about his experiences reading, he got so excited and told us why he loves the Book of Mormon and then asked us a couple of question he had and knew we could help him with. His prayer in the end was so sincere and was he was SO excited to go to Stake Conference that weekend. During Stake Conference, he took down some notes and loved every minute of it.  He is excited to talk to bishop on Sunday and set goals and make plans to go to the temple and receive the priesthood.  He is doing great!  He makes us happy.

We had a great ESL class on Saturday and we talked about "Likes and Dislikes". We thought it would be really cute to make little 'like' and 'dislike' signs for them to use in our activities. We got word  from our building manager that we might begin teaching class A (the highest class) and not class B anymore. We told our students that and they were a bit sad. We had a super fun activity and they loved class! In the end, I turned around with the chalk in my hand and said, "What is today's sentence that we can create as a class to present?"  Hatem (the Egyptian man) said, "I would like to have our teachers keep teaching us please".  My heart about melted!! I ran over and gave him a high five (that's what I love to do for the students that create a sentence) and I then asked the class, "Does everyone like that sentence?"  In return... They all held up their 'like' signs I made for them J AH! I LOVE THEM!! Our building manager loved the sentence they made and I believe I will get to keep teaching class B! 

This week we had stake conference where Elder Kunz (an Area Seventy) came and visited the Brampton Stake and spoke to us! The spirit was so strong there. It was an incredible experience as Elder Kunz gave everyone two minutes at the beginning of stake conference and asked to answer the following: (1) Who do you want to see baptized? (2) Who do you want to see reactivated? (3) What can I do to help people come closer to Jesus Christ? Before he got up again he said, "We all have questions, problems, or struggles that we each face right now in life.  At this time, please write down your question, problem, or struggle." He then promised us that it will be answered at stake conference! This stake conference, we talked about 'Rescuing'.  Elder Kunz told us 5 words that would change anything and everything in our lives for the better if we would apply them.  "Live the Doctrine of Christ".  That's it!  That is the key to happiness in this life and joy in the eternities. The doctrine of Christ can be broken down into 5 main points, and in order for us to apply these things, it is imperative that we understand them: 

1) Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement
2) Repentance
3) Baptism (by immersion) 
4) Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost
5) Endure to the End (or in other words, Enjoy to the End!  Because living the doctrine of Christ will bring us more joy in the long run than anything else!

I would encourage everyone to take time to ponder and study on the meaning and importance of these things, for they are essential to our eternal welfare.

All in all... I learned that as we live the doctrine of Christ that is talked about in 2 Nephi 31, 3 Nephi 11, and 3 Nephi 27.  I know that as we live the teachings of the gospel, our lives are going to be blessed, we will see the purpose of life, our potential, and create not just good or better decisions, but the best!  We need to have the gospel in our lives, without it, there is no path and we would be lost.  Not only do we need to have it, but we need to see, understand, and WALK that path with the Savior by our side.  We will follow the example that Christ has set for us and we will all one day return to live back with our heavenly parents in our heavenly home J  It's up to us!

Lastly, we received three media referrals last week and we got to meet with each of them! We had been so busy with appointments that we had hardly had any time to go finding at all! Yesterday, the Lord blessed us with the most amazing media referral. A young man named Fadi had requested a Book of Mormon online and after conversing with him on the phone, we went to deliver it to him. He invited us in and we discovered he's friends with a girl serving in England from the Mississauga ward!  His father joined us and we taught them all about the Book of Mormon and how it supports the Bible. They loved it and are excited to learn more! Sam (the father) asked us how to join the church and told us they would try to come next Sunday. J As part of their culture, they brought us cake and water bottles to help us feel at home and even pulled out chairs for us to sit on while we put our shoes on to leave. They are from Egypt and eat up anything and everything about Christ.  They were such a blessing from Heavenly Father as we know He truly does prepare and lead his children to the truth.  Christian Egyptians are the best!  They were such amazing people and we are so looking forward to teaching them! J

Missionaries able to participate in the temple trip
I am so grateful to be serving here and love every second I have in doing so. The experiences I have had this week are so incredible. One thing I notice that I am developing is a gift of seeing others as their spirits.  I love recognizing the spirit and the promptings I receive as I am teaching people. Heavenly Father helps me see with eternal eyes for a short time to see what they need at this time specifically in their life. It is hard to explain through words... But I have really come to just love everyone soo much.  Seeing everyone as Heavenly Father sees them.  In doing so, I have come closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ as I teach our brothers and sisters about him and his restored gospel. 

I testify that the Lord guides His work and He is the one who hastens it--but I know it's up to us to keep pace J 

Until next time...

Sister Robb