Monday, October 17, 2016

Hi everyone!
This week has been super great! On Saturday, Elder Jones and I went to the CDA Cares program to be translators. It is a cool program where dentists donate their time to give dental assistance to people who can't afford it. It was a great experience for me to practice my Spanish and I got a free t-shirt out of it.

Last week we contacted a man named Miguel and we decided he was too drunk to talk to so we told him we had to go and would see him another time. When we saw him a few days later, he wasn't drunk but sober and super paranoid. This happened three times and as we were walking away, we decided he wasn't ready to hear the gospel.

As we were leaving his place, we felt impressed to knock on his neighbor's door. A woman named Anna answered and we talked to her a little bit. She said that the Spanish elders visited her before a few years ago, but just stopped coming. We gave her a restoration pamphlet and we are going to visit her probably a few times this week.

Also, we have been trying to contact a retired man named Louis for about four weeks and finally he answered. He was super excited to hear about the gospel and he wants us to teach him and his daughter.  He also wants us to listen to his son's story on how he changed his life around. They are a sweet family. The other one is Jose. Jose is retired and he is this goofy old man. He speaks Spanish slow (thank goodness) but has a really funny accent.

The city of Stockton and really the mission in general is a huge melting pot. I have seen people that only speak Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, Mong, Filipino, and Laotian that make plenty of friends and get around fine. Most the missionaries leave being able to speak a little bit of a few different languages, mostly Spanish.

Anyway sorry I'm just rambling. This new Elder came into our district who is from Utah and is a runner so I'm hoping we go on exchanges so we can go running but we'll see.

It's amazing to see the miracles that happen out here. I know that I am protected by angels and the Spirit is really guiding us. I have been practicing Spanish like crazy and praying for the gift of tongues and it has been paying off. There is absolutely no way I can deny that the gospel is true and the miracles I have seen.

My time on the computer runs out in a minute but I hope you all have a good week!

Elder Robins

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Organizing the Ward and Blessings 10/3/16

So this week has been pretty interesting.  We are working like crazy to get the ward organized and excited about missionary work. I gave my first blessing in Spanish on Tuesday! I was on exchanges with an English speaking missionary so neither of us knew what I actually said... haha or why I gave the blessing.  The sister we blessed speaks really fast Spanish and I still don't understand the language completely but she seemed happy afterwards so I guess it worked. 

When we were coming back from an appointment on Thursday, it was dark outside and we were in a rougher neighborhood.  As soon as we opened the car doors this guy came out of nowhere and asked if our car wipes was a candy bar.. haha.  It was apparent that he was intoxicated or something so we explained that it wasn't a candy bar, gave him a pass along card and he went on his way. My companion and I turned pens into BB guns... I'll just leave it at that.

The majority of people we talk to are homeless. We talk to a LOT of homeless people and they always accept invitations to see the missionaries later (not always sure how that works out). When we were doing service at the flea market this weekend, Sonya, one of the people we do service for, had this cage of exotic birds.  She was moving them from a big cage to a smaller one. After a few birds, she turned to me and said "hermano, you try". Haha, I spent like ten minutes trying to catch the darn thing and I caught it! So I'm pretty much Bear Grylls now. Also, It rained today which was nice, I haven't seen a cloud since I was in Utah.

My favorite talk from conference was Elder Holland's in the priesthood session. I got a new pair of boots today actually for a fantastic price (dads teachings).

If you (Joseph's immediate family) want to send any treats or anything anytime please note that I am not specific but I would happily receive anything, especially considering I am living off of Mexican food and raisin bran. Thanks!

Tell Grandma and Aunt Amy I say Happy Birthday. Sorry I'll try to take pictures for next time. 

I love you so much and miss you. Tell everyone I say hello with love. If you get the chance, watch Tour De Family from John Bytheway for FHE. Thanks again Love you!

Pranks, Exotic Cheese, and the Escobar Family 9/26/16

This week was crazy!  So last Monday night I made some Jello and put my trainer's lucky lighter in it. When I set it out the next morning he saw it and was like "dangit, Jim!" (From the tv show "The Office")  Haha, it was super funny. 

On Tuesday we ate with the Escobar family. They are from El Salvador. They own their own upholstery business and he works at least 12 hours a day! The next day I went on my first exchange with Elder Buhler, my district leader. It was really interesting, my first real day of English work. It wasn't the best because I got really sick and I was on a bike all day. When we exchanged back, Elder Jones (my trainer) was just as sick as I was, and it turns out we got food poisoning from this exotic cheese from El Salvador. We spent all day Thursday in the apartment resting. Friday we rested for half the day and visited some of the members asking for referrals.

My Spanish is better than most brand new missionaries but I'm still only catching about every fifth word- I could be a trainer in two weeks so no pressure! 

Also, I never thanked you (Dad) for the lessons you taught me growing up. You should find some joy in the knowledge that the kitchen is clean, my bed is made, and the bathroom is clean.  I still can't cook eggs the way you used to but I'm trying!

Love you, hope you have an awesome week. 

Elder Robins