Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The One Where We Light the World 12/26/16

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great Christmas! This week has been pretty busy. On Tuesday, Elder Sirstins and I went on exchanges (he doesn't speak any Spanish but he's a great missionary, haha). We had an investigator drop us, which was a little sad.  But the next one we visited told us that he wants to take the Gospel more seriously and start by reading the Book of Mormon! Our investigator who wants to get baptized is working as hard as he can to quit smoking. When we taught him on Tuesday, the lady who he is renting from (who has never let missionaries come inside her house before) invited us in for dinner and let us teach her a lesson! She invited us back for the next Tuesday so we'll see where it goes!

Christmas was great! We got to go and visit a member who let us Skype with his computer and eat dinner with his family. We just had some really good conversations.  We gave his son a Book of Mormon in Spanish because he leaves for his mission in a couple of months. When his daughter set up the computer for me, her hair got caught on a candle and her hair caught on fire! Haha she dyed her hair red like the day before so her family was calling her 'the fiery red head"

Yesterday I opened presents (please tell everyone thank you for me, they were so wonderful)!  I got a lot of really good presents.  A member gave us about thirty pounds in tamales and I've only gained about ten pounds so everything is all good!

Hope you all have a great week! Love you all!

Elder Robins

My First Door Slam in the Face 12/19/16

Hey everyone!!!!

This has been a pretty crazy week. I had my first door slammed in my face! At that same house we taught the Restoration to this guy who is kind of interested and after the lesson was over he invited us to his son's wedding party that weekend.  The fiance is the one who slammed the door in our face so we decided not to go. The next day we heard more gunshots outside... while we were teaching a lesson about peace and love!

We went on exchanges this week and I got to go with Elder Capulac, from the Philippines. The night we exchanged I was in his apartment and he told me to eat whatever I wanted and that he was going to take a shower. In the middle of his shower he shouted "Oh, Elder!" He ran into the kitchen with a towel wrapped around his waist and told me that there were tortillas in the fridge that he bought specifically for the Spanish missionaries. I’m glad I didn’t eat them. Haha we had a good time.

One of the other things that happened this week was we were talking to one of our investigators about baptism- and he committed to being baptized! We prayed about it and we are going to talk to him tonight about a baptismal date.  Hopefully I can stay here to see him baptized (transfers are at the beginning of January).

In honor of Christmas traditions I bought assorted nuts this morning. I am doing well. The people here are so nice, we have people that invited us over for tamales on Christmas.

I'm not really homesick. It can get pretty hard sometimes but I still love it. Yes I love my companion. Haha I got him all wet last night trying to do a water bottle trick but it's all good.

Yes I got the Christmas package and I loved it! I am happy to report that all the snacks were finished just a few days ago and I haven't opened any of the presents. Really I'm happy to receive any kind of gift.

Well, I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas next week! I love you! I'll talk to you on Sunday!

Te quiero! yo hablare contigo en el domingo!

Elder Robins

Many Investigators, a Matter of Time 12/12/16

Hey everyone!

So this week we had some adventures. On Tuesday, Elder Nelson and I were just riding our bikes around downtown and this older guy in a wheelchair shouted at us as we started to talk.  He let us know that he was a Jew and had some things to say about our salvation. He told us that we needed to repent and turn to God. He told us to be more religious and as he was rolling away he shouted at the top of his lungs "Repent! The end is near!!!"- We decided we were hungry after that so we went to Taco Bell.

We got our first investigator to show up to sacrament!! It was super exciting. And we have a lesson scheduled later this week with one of our ward members. My companion is kind of different but he's still pretty cool (his family knows me as Elder Malfoy). So that's the kind of the family they are, haha.  We've been working together taking language study a lot more seriously and also culture study.

We visited with a potential investigator on Saturday and upon getting to know him, we found out that he has read the Book of Mormon! He loves it, goes to church, and invited us to visit with him! Proof that the Lord does prepare people to receive the Gospel.

In the middle of last week, we tried to call a phone number of an investigator and he answered. We talked to him in English for a few seconds and when we told him we were missionaries he switched to Spanish, saying he didn't know English. Thinking he was safe, he was about to say goodbye but we switched to Spanish. He was so surprised that he didn't say anything for like ten seconds! And then he told us he wasn't interested and hung up.

Also this week we got a referral from the hermanas and we went to go and visit him. Turns out that this referral is a former investigator that my last companion and I dropped because we could never find him sober. We went and talked with him and he was sober so we got through the entire restoration and he loved it! He asked for extra pamphlets so he could share them with his neighbors. Hopefully next time we see him we can have a similar experience.  We have a lot of people ask us about the church and it's only a matter of time before our first baptism.
On Sunday it was really satisfying because we had stake conference and people kept asking me if I could translate the talks from English to Spanish. I'm not quite at that level but I was grateful for the confidence. The Stake had some boundary changes yesterday. There are 6 English wards, a Mong branch, Laotian and Cambodian groups and my Spanish ward. The building we are at now is closer to where a lot of the members live and they combined the youth programs with the English youth so we are hoping to see some more people show up to church on Sundays from now on.

I am doing pretty good. I've been fighting off a cold for about a week now but I'm not letting that stop me from doing anything. I’m sure this sounds kind of weird but I think I sound more Mexican with my gravely voice (sort of like Pheobe from Friends and her bluesy voice when she gets a cold).  So I'll be kind of sad when my immune system takes that away from me.

I got my Christmas package last night!! It's kind of tempting to have a box full of presents under my bed with no adult supervision but I'll manage.

With love,
Elder Robins

BTW this is me and Elder Hacking on exchanges a few weeks ago

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Many Great Teaching Experiences 11/28/16

Hey Everyone!

So this week we had our transfers. I got to stay in Stockton and I got put with Elder Neilson.  Technically I have three more weeks than him because I went to the MTC for three weeks and he did for six but we left the MTC at the same time and arrived to Modesto in the same group. Companionships are put together through inspiration. We are both Senior Companions. I think part of that is since we both just finished a program called 12 Weeks (for every missionary's first two transfers). We will both be teaching each other Spanish and how to be Mexican, haha (we are the two whitest Spanish missionaries BTW).

I'm having a fantastic time. We taught a guy about the Book of Mormon last night in our trio and the Spirit was super strong.  At the end of the lesson we asked him to give the closing prayer and he took our hands and started to pray like a Baptist, which is what he was before he left the church. Kind of a cool story, his bishop decided he was a prophet so the guy left that church and when he was praying for truth, the missionaries knocked on his door.  

All this week has been super rainy and cold and our car ran out of miles so we spent a lot of time on bikes. On the first day I wanted to take my companion to some of our investigators houses. Nobody answered and on our way back to the car, this guy stopped us and asked if we were Mormons. We told him yes sir and he just started to tear into our religion (all of the things he thought he knew about the church were false,FYI).  He would not accept any answers from us. We told him we had to go and he said "Ok yeah I'll catch you guys later" and gave us each a hug and told us he appreciated what we were doing... A little confusing!

There aren't too many people here that want to bible bash.  Most of the people are either content with their beliefs, have questions about our church, or are a Jehovah's Witness. I try to focus on the Book of Mormon because the people here all interpret the Bible in different ways. The Book of Mormon is more effective for this.

We were able to contact two referrals, which was awesome, and we have plans to teach a lot this week. We'll see what happens.
The weather is changing and it's kinda funny because only the missionaries from Utah and Washington aren't getting sick. I'm staying healthy, although my six pack is gone. Oh for Thanksgiving we got to spend it with a Chilean family! Of all the Hispanics, Chileans are probably the nicest. They fed us a delicious dinner and taught us the difference between Mexican and Chilean Spanish. Their accents are kind of funny, like speaking American English and trying to understand Scottish English. They are wonderful people and treated us like family.

Love you all, que tengan una buena semana!

New Companion! 11/21/16

Hey everyone!

So this week has been pretty interesting. My companion and I said our goodbyes last night and I have been in a trio with the Zone Leaders since last night.

On Wednesday we went on exchanges. I went with Elder Hacking, who is a pretty cool elder. The next morning when he was in the bathroom, I was just getting dressed when he started screaming. He came running out and rinsed his eyes out. It turns out that he confused hydrogen peroxide for contact cleaner! So his eye was pretty red for the rest of the day. Anyway, when that was over we went to the kitchen to get some cereal and his companion had just finished all the cereal right before he left! So me and this poor elder with a burning eye had to ride our bikes all the way over to the grocery store to get some Crunch Berries. By the time we finished breakfast, personal study was almost over and we had to get ready to leave for district meeting. Haha so it was a pretty fun day!

I got a call for my new companion last night. His name is Elder Nielson. I will be staying with him in the beautiful and safe city of Stockton. I have actually met this elder before- he came into the mission at the same time as me! He's a great man and I'm really excited to be working with him.

I hope you all have a great week!
this was a fun day