Monday, October 24, 2011

The Shabeen, fire,fire,fire!, Feliz Navidad, the home run testimony, Hammanskraal? yes please.‏

What a week man I can't believe its come and gone. This week I had the opportunity of going to Soshanguve and Mabopane both on exchanges and there was some awesome happenings.

Soshanguve we were on bikes and its my first time biking since my Nelspruit days. But BOOM! I completed the Soshanguve Mountain! yeah no stops, and in a high gear because the bikes can no longer shift. Morning schedule jogging and leaps and push ups pay off!!! Anyway the day started off super hot and I hadn't eaten breakfast. But after a fill up at the local Kota stand we went to work. And then the downpour came. high winds, thunder and lightning, and torrents of rain, and a Mulhungu in township all make for good times. We met a guy pushing a shopping cart overflowing with alcohol and he invited us to his place. So we road about 13k's through pouring rain and... wrong house, no such person lives there... But guess who does. A house of 4 brothers looking for a church... Miracle?!?! We had a really good day and though I was dripping like a sponge I loved every minute of it.

Mabopane was a very interesting day. We met a guy at a bar who used to be the ward clerk, Melchizedek Priesthood holder and everything, and we found him drowning his sorrows away in the Shabeen. As we talked to him about 10 people approached us and asked for help to stop drinking. Well we invited them to church in Mabopane and they all came. turns out 3 are super prepared and are working on being baptized. In the strangest places, and in some of the lowest times, you can have spiritual experiences and see miracles. Think of Christ, all alone, forsaken, and beaten, he became the Savior. Good lesson of hope there.

A funny thing happened this week. On Soweto TV, every Sunday there are all these crazy pastor TV shows where people dump cooking oil on "possessed" people and shout fire fire fire!. Well this week we saw like 5 kids playing "Church" one was shaking on the ground and they were throwing dirt on him saying fire fire fire. man haha the world is one crazy place. we laughed like crazy.

Occasionally you have experiences on mission that break your heart and this week Joyce and her mother Maria received their answers that the Book of Mormon was true and that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet. But they said, "we can't leave our church we are rooted there and are comfortable. But we know it is true". So early on my mission I would try to persuade, or to nudge, or do something to dissuade them. But know I have realized the true power of testimony. After about a 3 second pause, I opened my mouth and I can't recall everything I said but it was something along the lines of "Christ is standing right at the door and saying come, and you heard him, and you turned around and went back. We love you, that's why we are here. Nothing will bring you greater happiness no matter how tough the transition. There will be away. You may think we are being bold, but this is eternal life, this is EVERYTHING, and if you turn away its your choice, but we want it absolutely clear. This is true, and you know it. Man after that and Elder Bangani's testimony I thought the house was gonna fall down it was powerful. I love it man. They still turned us away, but all that was was a testimony builder for us, and hopefully a seed for them in the future.

In other news, this Sunday we will have hopefully 7 baptisms. Yep Hammanskraal? yes please. I love this place, the church is true, and this is exactly where I need to be and exactly what I need to be doing.

Stay classy y'all

Elder Robinson

Monday, October 17, 2011

Prepared, "You matter to Him!", "Now I know the truth!", branch status, Champions of obedience, man what the heck.

Well what to say about conference other than wow. President Uchtdorf''s talk was my favorite about recognizing your own nothingness before God. Some few words still ringing in my ears are these. "We are nothing compared to Him, But we are EVERYTHING to him." and " No matter how lost, alone, or insignificant you feel, remember this you matter to HIM!" As I have been working in Hammanskraal I realize how much we truly need God in our lives. As I see people killing themselves with alcohol and nothing to live for but the next paycheck I realize how much we are blessed with and how much for granted we take it. Nothing could be more important than what we are doing each and every day. Never forget the big scheme of things and "Cast not away therefore thy confidence" Go forward embrace the Gospel and don't look back or long for what's behind. You are a son or daughter of God on the way to becoming like Him. Never forget it.

Man I get so much out of conference its like I get depressed when its over and we have to wait another 6 months. But we have investigators to make it better.

Mpho who we met last week is prepared with a capitol P. We taught the restoration and he was just like I can't believe its taken so long for me to know about this. when can I get baptized? Well how about November haha? Kagiso also was great this week she stays next door to a member and came to church. She just spoke about how she felt so at home and that she already knew what we were teaching was true because she can't deny the feeling she has. Also the daughters of a member Nonhlanhla and Nkululeko are super stubborn about leaving 7th day adventism but every time we come they just break down. "If we could hug you we would but we know the rules." "Why were we so stubborn" Yesterday they said "We can't deny this feeling anymore"

Here's the thing that I've come to realize lately. When you obtain the Word, your mouth will be filled. As a young missionary I tried to learn all the scriptures and examples to have an air tight presentation. But now I simply use the Spirit. Testify and teach to whatever comes out. I finally feel like I'm doing my job and every day we see miracles.

Soon enough Hammanskraal will be a branch. I give it til maybe April and I love being a part of this man I hope I stay for some time.

President Omer interviewed us this week and spoke of being "champions of obedience" This is the key to success in everything. If we are obedient we won't fail in work, school, mission or anything. The words of President Poulsen still just ring every time I think of obedience. This is the ticket. I love my mission man nuff said.

Elder Warner is home... that's insane. man I'm still blown away by that. It just tells me there is no time to waste because soon enough it will be me. so... back to the work.

I love you all, "the Kraal" is great, and looking forward to this week

Elder Robinson

Monday, October 10, 2011

President Kingsley, N1, Russell M. Nelson, Moses and others, BAD JUJU, and the like‏

Man a good week, a fast crazy week, but a good week. This week we purchased the new apartment and began to move in. This required a lot of travel to and from Joburg and sitting in traffic on the N1. I am so sick of driving I have nightmares about it.

But the flat is nice, big, new, shiny, and has CARPET! Now this may not seem like a big deal but man this is HUGE, carpet is so nice.... like I've been praying for a flat with carpet. The simple joys of missionary work are innumerable.

So you may wonder why I put Elder Nelson in the subject line. He's coming to the mission on the 24th of this month and we get to be there. 2nd Apostle on mission baby what up!!!!

This week I think the coolest experience, well one of them, was when President Kingsley from the Stake came. He spoke of his beginnings in the church 50 years ago and how he started meeting in a house as well and now Vereenigeng his home town has 3 wards. He spoke of how within 10 years there will be chapels (plural) and a stake in the Soshanguve area. He spoke of how it is in the Lord's plan and how it simply requires our heart, might, mind and strength. He told us that if we as the missionaries serve without regret, we will have joy and rejoicing in Hammanskraal not only in this life but in eternity. It was powerful. I can't stop pondering on that.

This week I was afflicted with food poisoning again... cold chicken again... and because of that I had a lot of pondering time as I used the restroom. Now, as missionaries, you can never know the impact you have. You can see yourself change, you can change some few around you, and you can gain an unshakable testimony. But it is only after many years have passed and you are on the other side you may begin to comprehend. I guess what I can say is this. Do your best with where you are. Lift those around you, and rather than ask what you need, ask what someone else may need. As we loose ourselves in the service of others we find ourselves. As I just recently killed 3 missionaries I thought a lot of where I want to be in 8 months time. Many missionaries get trunky... actually all... but If you work, and love those around you, and just "forget yourself and go to work" you go from an ordinary experience to an EXTRAordinary experience. That's what I hope and pray we gain here. As we go out I just have this fire to make things happen here and through the Spirit its all possible.

I think one way sweet investigator I'd like to talk about now is Moses. We contacted him and gave him a pamphlet. He called us and wanted us to come. He 100% understood the restoration and had taught his family of 5 and they wanted to be baptized. We didn't have to say one word. At church on Sunday people were debating the restoration and baptisms and authority and he just stood up and testified of the restoration and how we're so blessed to be a part of it even if we're just meeting in a house. "The church is true, that's what matters".
This is just a small taste of the Awesomeness we get everyday here. Here is another
We taught a pastor of a nameless church and he agreed with everything we taught except that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus... Because " they are the same person" So he tried to bash, we shut him down, he used his own private interpretation, we shut him down. Then he said well your church is teaching lies. Something welled up inside of me and I testified like a dragon. He shook I saw his hands and I felt the burning confirmation once again that this is true. "persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, but the truth of God will go forth boldly nobly and independent!" I love it nuff said.

Well yeah... haha we should have 8 baptisms this month, we have already outgrown our meeting place and will be moving probably in November. I love being an instrument in the Lord's hands nothing is more humbling and yet encouraging. But as to mine own self I am nothing.

Everyone back home. Serve a mission... if you can't... share it with your friends. You won't regret one whit of it.

Elder Robinson

Monday, October 3, 2011

Time is short but awesome week nevertheless‏

Hammanskraal. Need I say more....

This week we found 22 new investigators all of whom are preparing to be baptized this month on the 30th. We may not achieve that with all of them but I feel that 13 of them are very sincere and will be baptized this month or next month.

Two new African temples!!! Incredible people are gonna go nuts when they hear that this weekend

I was kissed on the cheek by a man this week. At the end of every month, the paychecks come. They call it month end. at the end of every week people by alcohol... they call it weekend. When weekend and month end meet craziness happens. So we were teaching a powerful lesson on the restoration tears involved from the investigators and in walks baba. "HEY LAGUA! (white man) HAVE I EVER TOLD YOU I LOVE JESUS???!?!? AND I LOVE YOU TOO...." So he puts his arms around me and gives me a juicy castle lager kiss on the cheek and says "PRAY FOR ME I NEED TO STOP." T. I. A. haha I love the village man it is so fun.

Honestly we've just been doing a lot of building lately so there is no real stand out investigator or family but everyone we're teaching is pretty awesome and just seems prepared to accept it. We extend dates for baptism in the very first lesson and people are asking us questions like crazy. We'll be 10 minutes late for appointments just because people stop us and want us to teach them. so in other words this place is legendary.

Um time is rushing but seriously this place is awesome. man I have nothing more to say than that.

Elder Robinson