Mission Picture top blog

Mission Picture top blog

Monday, October 26, 2015

Following The Spirit

 This week was so full of joy, miracles, and hard work J  First off, my new companion is Sister Mosquera! Sister Mosquera is from Pasto, Colombia! It's in the north part of Central America. She is just absolutely incredible! She has grown up with the gospel all of her life, and her parents are converts to the church. One of the great things I love about Sister Mosquera is her desire to learn! She has learned English for a little over a year now and was only in the MTC for 12 days! So our days consist of spelling, pronunciation, missionary work, pronunciation, missionary work, etc.  I get to teach her English every day! She is so cute! There is a reason why she came out the day she did, and I am just SO grateful that I get to be her companion and to really help her.

We had an incredible week in Peterborough!  Peterborough is one of the cutest places I have served. There are so many trees and it's just a little city that is out in the middle of nowhere in some ways J  It was a great shock to the members here when they saw two sister missionaries and not elders!! It has been almost two years since sisters served here and there is SO much work that needs to be done!!  I loved getting to hug all of the sisters in Peterborough, it's been a long time since a missionary could hug them. J

Our first night after arriving to Peterborough, we found that we had a dinner 30 minutes later!  So we quickly gathered our stuff, I grabbed the map, and navigated to the cute Fukushima's home.  They are the cutest, older Japanese couple.  After we shared a message with them, Sister Fukushima just hugged us and said she felt the spirit so strong. So that was a great start to our first day after having a dinner and meeting with our amazing bishop that night. 

We were able to do some service this week!  The missionaries were knocking on some doors and came across a less-active member and they told the relief society about her. One of the ladies stopped by to say hello and found her in the worst conditions ever. She had an invasion of ticks. She didn't have her medication and couldn't process what was happening. Her memory was failing and her health was extremely poor. So Sister Partridge called the ambulance and they took her to the hospital.  All in all, her situation wasn't good whatsoever.  BUT, after burning every single bug with a heat treatment, Sister Mosquera and I with some relief society sisters went in and cleaned like crazy!! We were able to see Sister Seymour and talk with her for a short bit and she is excited to go back to this week. We love service!

We are working with some incredible people here in Peterborough!
-Austin [18 years old] He is a recent convert of about one and a half months. We sat down with him and got to talk with him about going to the temple on November 13th with the youth J He is SO excited and we get to see him about three times a week to help him prepare for the Aaronic Priesthood.  His life story and conversion is incredible.  Three months ago... He really had no life.  Bad family, bad everything.  So his grandma took him in and to look where he is at now--baptized, working, and reading his scriptures, etc--is soo incredible.  He is great and we are so excited to work with him!!
-The Sweets [Shelly and Tanya] are sisters and got baptized last year and we are so excited to help them go to the temple and have set a date for November 7th! We are doing all that we can to help them go! They don't really know what they need to do to go there!!  I'll keep you updated on them!! Oh yeah... Tanya's husband is not a member and is learning. 
-Pio family [Todd, Dayton, Elizabeth...] They are a less-active family that we are working with and Dayton got baptized last month! They are going through many difficult things right now in their life.  BUT, We had an AMAZING lesson yesterday!! President and Sister Clayton were passing by and gave us some Spanish materials we needed for Sister Mosquera. We were talking with them and I told them that we had to get going since we have a lesson to go to! President Clayton said, "Well, we have some time. Who are you going to teach and we will come with you!" So... President and Sister Clayton came yesterday to our lesson with the Pio's. What an incredible experience that was!  As we taught the Restoration very clearly and simply, the spirit was able to testify of the truthfulness of the gospel to their hearts. Sigh….It was so good!

A story that has touched my heart was after our lesson with the Pio's. We were going to a dinner appointment and as I got out of the car, I saw two men standing at a corner of the sidewalk talking. I walked over and introduced ourselves.  After talking for a minute, one of the guys had to keep walking since he had Parkinson's disease, so we talked with Kirk a while longer.  After asking him how he was, he said, "Not good at all."  He looked away and said, "Why did you come talk to me?" I told him that I felt we should because the spirit told me in my mind and heart that I needed to.  He began to cry and tell us that it wasn't a coincidence that we met him. He was down on life and thinking life was not worth living anymore and that he had contemplated considering taking his own life.  Can you imagine that?  As we talked with him, I knew that it wasn't coming from us, but from the spirit. I talked with him for a bit and I looked at Sister Mosquera and prayed that the spirit will help her know what to say. She couldn't quite understand our conversation, so I smiled at her and nodded my head to share her testimony. She bore a powerful testimony and couldn't help but cry in doing so. After we talked with him, it was exactly what he needed to hear: That there was a Heavenly Father and He loved him and that there is more to the Atonement of Jesus Christ then covering for our mistakes. We talked for a while on the street and when I knew that he was doing better, we left him with the Plan of Salvation pamphlet. We were able to set an appointment and are so excited to see Kirk tonight to help him out. 

After this happened, I wrapped my arm around Sister Mosquera and had a talk with her. "This is what missionary work is all about. As you follow the spirit, you are led to those who need you Sister Mosquera." She began to cry and said, "Sister Robb... I now am understanding my purpose as a missionary..." What an incredible and powerful week it was!!

I am just so truly grateful for the spirit in leading and guiding--not only us--but Heavenly Father's children. The light of Christ is real and others see it.  I am so excited to be with Sister Mosquera here in Peterborough and get to work!  I wouldn't trade anything in the world for the experiences and moments that I will cherish forever. I am so grateful for temples that we have and are able to feel so close to the spirit while there.

Until next time...
Sister Robb

Monday, October 19, 2015

Last Transfer in Canada!

We got the call last night and, I AM TRANSFERING & TRAINING!!! J I AM SO EXCITED!! I will be 'whitewashing' into an area (where both companions are new) into Peterborough.  It's in the Oshawa Zone and I cannot wait!!  It will be the farthest north in my mission I will go.

Last week I went on two exchanges!
-Don Valley: Sister Westerlind--She is awesome! She came to Mississasauga with me and we were able to teach Brian and talk about temples and family history.  As we talked about the temple, he got really silent and just looked down.  I said, "Brian... You'll someday be able to do temple work for your mom. I know that you are feeling the spirit and that is because the temple is the most precious and sacred place on earth. I know she is so proud of you right now..." Brian looked up and said, "...How do you know that?" I said, "The spirit has touched my heart and told me to say that.  Don't be too hard on yourself Brian and never give up!" "...Hey...That's what my mom used to say to me." Sister Westerlind and I had an incredible lesson with Brian and he got himself signed up for family history and we were able to put in his parents and grandparents. He is doing great! Lastly, we followed up with Brian about something... This is how it went:
"Brian! We're so excited to hear about your experience in watching the October 2014 general conference CD's we gave you last time. What talks were you able to watch from it?"
"All of them."
"Wait... You watched all of one of the CD's we gave you?"
"Yes.... I watched all of the CD's you gave me. It was good."
"Brian... [holding up CD case], did you know you watched 11 hours?! In two days?!" 

"[Brians smiles]"
Yes. He is doing great and he loves the Book of Mormon stories!! We also got to teach Sister Stranges about Patriarchal Blessings that day and she is now preparing to receive hers, so that's exciting!!

I was able to go on exchanges with Sister Arnold again!! Man... We did SO much that day!! We literally ran from appointment to appointment.  It was an incredible day where following the spirit in lessons was all we did.  She is such an incredible example to me and it has been amazing to see the progress she has made and the refinement that is brought into her life because of her mission, I love her so much!

Here are some updates on people!
-Brother Macdonald was taught the Word of Wisdom and Following the Prophet. At the end of the lesson we asked if there would be anything (other than smoking which he has nearly quit,) that would keep him from living this commandment. He told us he drank coffee... so under the direction of the spirit we simply asked him if we could take it and remove the temptation. He sat in silence for only a brief moment before stating "Okay" J He then proceeded to go and grab it all. Best thing ever! 
-We also met with our two Muslim investigators, one of which who has been meeting a little bit with the Farsi Elders as well, and they have both been reading a TON in The Book of Mormon! Hatem is learning more for an intellectual understanding and has read all of 1 Nephi in the past week, and Eghbal is learning on more of a spiritual level and is in Jacob already!! He LOVES the Book of Mormon!! He also told us that the more he reads, the lighter he feels and the more he learns. He will be flying home to the middleeast in just a few weeks and will not be able to take The Book of Mormon with him for safety reasons, so we are emphasizing developing faith in Jesus Christ so he can carry that in his heart over the next few months while he's away. 

Saturday evening was the ward chili cook off and the missionaries got to judge! Ooohhh, there were some good, spicy chili's! Our dear investigators and friends, Sandra and Sheryl came and really enjoyed themselves too! 
The Famous $250.00 PIE!
The craziest past of the evening was the bakery bidding. Members brought some amazing homemade desserts to have bid on as a fundraiser for the young women's camp this year. SO the bidding begins. Some pretty high prices were thrown out there! It then comes down to the last item; an apple pie made by Sister Ashe. Of course, as missionaries we were pulling our money to try and get this one, but to no avail. The price continued to rocket. Having lost all hope of getting this delectable dish, and simply enjoying the bidding war, we missionaries sat back as we watched the bids continue to climb on this miraculous pie. Final bid: sold for $250. Yep, That's right. But... The craziest part was when the Hitchens graciously placed the pie they had bought on our table for the missionaries!!! haha. We couldn't believe it! Well, long story short, we REALLY enjoyed the (expensive) pie! This ward is the funniest and nicest ward!

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity of serving here in Mississauga. I have loved it ... Because the people make me happy.  I have loved getting to know the diversity of Heavenly Father's children. Teaching ESL is probably one of the biggest highlights for me. Karolina was able to go to the temple and she is doing great!!  Brother Macdonald was a hidden gem that is now under the polishing and refining process--I know he will make it to the temple someday.  He is so close. His courage to sacrifice and put aside old habits and come closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have really touched my heart.  Sandra and Sheryl are just the funniest Jamican ladies I have ever met... But since I first met them to now, the change in their life is incredible.  They have physically changed in the peace that you can see in their life, but the spiritual peace is even greater than physical evidence. When you talk with them, you know that they are special. They have been touched by the restored gospel.  Their last hurdle that they need to come over (that's hilarious) is to not wear a swim cap for Sheryl and a life jacket for Sandra when they get baptized. J Hatem and Eghbal have really helped me develop a deep love for Heavenly Father's children in ways that can't be described. Sister Phelan's triumph over her Word of Wisdom problems have been an incredible leap of faith for her and she is reading New Testament stories, and just loves the gospel now!  I just LOVE it here!! Mississauga will have a special place in my heart forever and for Heavenly Father's children here. 

I cannot wait for the adventure of opening up a new area and for my new companion as she begins her mission serving in Ontario. J 

My scripture I am ponderizing this week is Matthew 5:14-16
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. 
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

We love Sister Ennever (momma)
I know that as we live the principles of the gospel, that we fulfill what the Savior says in this scripture.  When we have this light, we will shine our light through our deeds and have the ability of influencing so many others for good.  I love what Joseph B. Wirthlin says, "...the influence of the gospel is to extend beyond each individual. It is to be as a light that dispels the darkness from the lives of those around us."   Continue to be a light J

Until next time...

Sister Robb

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Days Never To Be Forgotten

Hello!  I am so grateful for this week and give thanks every day to be alive! Yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving and I am still counting my blessings today! They are endless... With that, this past week was great!  I learned so much this week and loved every second. I am so grateful for the simplicity of the gospel and the spirit. I have been able to come closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ because of it J

I was able to go on two exchanges last week with Sister Penrod (Mandarin sister in Mississauga) and with Sister Leung (Cantonese sister in Markham). They are both so incredible!!  I had such a fun time when I was with Sister Leung traveling on the buses and met so many Asians that can't speak English, so I just wrote on some cards in Chinese to give to them and invited them to ESL that way.  Several of them loved it and really appreciated the smiles and effort. 

There was also specialty training for three zones! The district leaders, zone leaders, and sister training leaders all were in attendance and we learned SO much from our meeting!  These trainings have really impacted me and have helped me--not only during contacting or teaching as a missionary--but as a person and have influenced me and strengthened my testimony.  I loved when we talked about the Restoration and how it's all because of revelation--I have always known this, but as I really emphasized this while I teach, I can see the light bulb (or in this case, the spirit) light in their eyes and countenance. The Plan of Salvation is because of Christ's atonement and in every aspect it truly is. I know this because as I studied it and have pondered and prayed about it... It all makes sense and has increased my love for our Savior, Jesus Christ even more. The Gosepl of Jesus Christ is the way or path in every principle or ordinance, it shows this. With the knowledge of revelation, the atonement, and the path we must walk on... EVERYTHING CHANGES.  There is SO much to learn and so much to apply, ponder, grow, and know!! I love studying these things!

ESL is going great!! There is a super cute Hungarian girl in her teens who came with her parents, her name is Sunshine [the name completely fits her] She came to church again this week and liked it and really enjoyed conference as well. We gave her a Hungarian Restoration pamphlet and cannot wait to talk to her about it and see what she thinks so we can begin teaching her. 

Speaking of ESL, we met with Hatem and Eghbal again. It was a great lesson. Something that really touched my heart was when Hatem asked how I can read people so well.  I asked him what he meant and he said, "You have a special gift of knowing myself--like if something doesn't make sense, you know that I feel that and help me come to know. I remember my first day, I knew you didn't know me... But you did know me I felt like... It's a very good gift to have." Wow! It was a really interesting experience to take a step back and to look at things from a different perspective and his outlook. I was able to explain that it's the spirit that I was able to do that and he said, "Well... Don't get too good or else you'll know everything about me!" Haha. It was a good laugh... But it's true! Heavenly Father does know our spirits perfectly and that we truly are all of his spirit children. He knows us and loves us perfectly.  I am just so grateful for the experiences I have to be able to see this every day.  J

Yesterday was the annual Turkey Bowl for the Canada Toronto Mission, every Thanksgiving the zones that are close to the mission home get together and celebrate Thanksgiving by eating some pie and treats, playing football, soccer, and being with each other. It was so much fun! Best preparation day ever!

After I pondered the scripture from last week [D&C 100:4], I have come to realize that suffer means to allow.  I am SO grateful for the Canada Toronto Mission. It is such a sacred mission and is absolutely amazing. There is sooo much sacred history that is in this mission with Joseph Smith being here along with Brigham, Hyrum, Parley P. Pratt, and so many more people! I am so grateful for Thomas S. Monson and his service here as a mission president. In a talk called "Days Never to Be Forgotten" (October 1990 General Conference), he talks about the events that have changed his life as he served as a mission President here. He says:

"During the period 1959 to 1962, my family and I lived in Toronto, where I served as the mission president. We are witnesses to the love God has for the Saints in that area. May I describe some of these “never to be forgotten” events?" [He tells of stories of places and people in Ontario] 

"...All of this history and much more crowded my mind during the dedication services of the Toronto Temple. I reflected on the many nationalities represented by our members there. English, Scottish, German, French, and Italian predominated, but there were also members from Greece, Hungary, Finland, Holland, Estonia, and Poland. Surely, Toronto is an example of the promise of the Lord found in Jeremiah: “I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion.” (Jer. 3:14.) This He has done; and from this Zion called Toronto, the word now goes forth in these native tongues to the home nations of those He has gathered."

"...When I prepared to leave Toronto following the concluding dedicatory session, I gazed upward toward heaven, that I might offer a silent prayer of gratitude to God for His watchful care, His bounteous blessings and for “days never to be forgotten.” High above the gleaming white temple, which personifies purity and reflects righteousness, is the gold-leafed statue of the Angel Moroni. I remembered being told that from that height of 105 feet, on a clear day one can see all the way to Cumorah. I noted that in Moroni’s hand was his familiar trumpet. He was gazing homeward—homeward to Cumorah. The beautiful Toronto Temple prepares all who enter to return homeward—homeward to heaven, homeward to family, homeward to God. That all of us may travel safely to our eternal home..."

I know that everything said by Thomas S. Monson is so true. I love serving here and love every person I get the opportunity to come in contact with.  May we continue to strive for the spirit in our life everyday by reading, praying, partaking of the sacrament, and going to the temple often. We will all be able to return back to our Heavenly home together J  I love you all.

Until next time...
Sister Robb

Monday, October 5, 2015

"Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together"

So many deep, rooted feelings were planted this week that really expanded my vision and broadened my testimony of the Savior and the love that Heavenly Father has for all of his children.

Fall is here, and the colors are beautiful!
At MLC this week, we learned about the Work of Salvation in a physical display of how it's an incredible, eternal reaction that reaches out to all of God's children. We did a yarn activity where there were 'people' in the story involved who the missionaries were seeing--an investigator, a family whose husband is less-active and married to a non-member, a recent convert, etc. The missionaries were connected to these individuals by a string. The Work of Salvation was then in place to help the missionaries connect with the ward through ward council and then have the ward council help fellowship to support and find growth to more people in the ward for these individuals. During this role-play, I was the recent convert who was baptized last year! The missionaries shared a lesson and said in the beginning to pay attention to the spirit in the lesson to feel of any impressions of anyone that can benefit from this message. After the lesson, I thought of my sister who will be moving to Canada in two weeks and wants to learn more about Christ! The missionaries then took that and just began making connections in the ward.  All in all... The end result was INCREDIBLE!! Every single missionary was connected in some way.  When President said, "This is the Lord's vision where we will all be connected and rise together." After he said that, each of us automatically raised our hands in the air with the string in our hands. I felt the spirit so strong and I knew that everything that has been displayed and put into place has confirmed to me again and again is what the Lord needs the Canada Toronto mission to do. It's hard to explain, but I do know that this truly is heavenly inspiration that is received and gave me a glimpse of how all of Heavenly Father's children are connected one with another.  It's incredible!! President Clayton said in the meeting, "I don't know why this mission is different... But I DO know this, He is saying USE ME!" I just love it!

The meeting was incredible and I feel so fortunate to be able to learn so much! For me personally, I learned more about the spirit... Not only in me, but in everyone.  Being able to serve a mission has really broadened my view of other's spirits and seeing them that way. I know that this has been possible to me from much prayer, study, and linking arms with our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love the restored gospel with all of my heart and what I love more is sharing that with others! 

Now for miracle time!! We met with Sandra and Sheryl last week and after walking in and giving Sheryl a hug I said, "How is the ginseng?  Has that helped in replacing coffee?" She said, "Sister Robb, I quit cold turkey.  I haven't had coffee for a week." I was blown away!! We began talking about it and she is incredible. She said the first day was the hardest, the second and third day she had a headache, and the fourth day she was good.  Sheryl decided to walk up 11 flights of stairs to avoid the coffee at work when she walks in!! AH!! When Sister Jensen and I sat down with them both, you could just see it in their countenance's that they are more at peace and that the gospel is truly blessing their life. We talked about baptism for the rest of the time.  Now, we just have to teach tithing next J   I'll keep you updated!

Here is an incredible experience that brought me to tears. Eghbal--our ESL student--from Iran is learning the gospel. We got in contact with the Farsi Elders and told them about Eghbal and set up a time to have them teach him more [just so he understands better and is more comfortable] We met at the church and had the opportunity of sitting in with the Farsi Elders talking with Eghbal.  The language is out of this world! [By the way... There is no MTC training for Farsi. It's the mission field] Eghbal began to explain that he is leaving next month to go back to Iran and will come back in 5-6 months. After the elders told him more about the Book of Mormon, he said, "Sisters... You understand that if I take this book and they find it in the airport, they will hang me..." I had learned that it's very dangerous for Muslims to go back to their home country... But this took on a whole new meaning.  Someone that I know and love to pieces--like Eghbal—well let’s say it broke my heart to think about such a thing. My respect for the Farsi Elders and their calling that many lives truly are in their hands and respect for Eghbal and those who learn. It brought tears to my eyes after Sister Jensen and I talked about it in the car and I was blown away and in awe.  I have a deeper understanding and such love for my Freedom to worship.

During Saturday's general conference, Eghbal wrote a note and passed it to me.  I looked at the note and it said, "Sister Robb, how can I get many talks of this in Farsi on CD to listen to? I would like to hear them again." As I looked down at the note, it brought a smile to my face. He is so great! 

General Conference was truly incredible. It was perfect timing in my life and I am eternally grateful for the speakers and the spirit that was felt.  I was pillow talking with Sister Jensen last night when we had more time to speak about conference. I asked her, "Did you notice the different feel of conference this time than others?" It was interesting to talk about it and realize that this conference truly was special.  Conference was incredible and it did have a different feel! It was as if everyone took a step outside of the 'conference' bubble... And it was more light. The things that were learned are there and placed.  We need to make the conscious effort to reach for them and apply them in our life, to ACT on what we were taught.  I am so grateful for all that was said and it inspired me to become better and refine myself as a daughter of God so that was great. [I hope that makes sense... It's hard through typing] I learned so much from conference! Words cannot describe all that was learned, but that my spirit was touched and I cannot wait to apply the things I learned.  My testimony was strengthened, and my goal is to become a more refined disciple of Jesus Christ J

The scripture I chose this week to “ponderize” is D&C 100:4, "Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls." This section is the great Canadian section where Joseph Smith and Sydney Rigdon travel.  I know that I have been called here fore a reason and I cannot wait to read, ponder, pray, and learn more about this sacred scripture and what Heavenly Father wants to teach me. I am here for the salvation of souls :) I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.

What an incredible week!
Until next time,
Sister Robb

President Monson has said, “Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together…”