Monday, December 26, 2011

Sweet blazes, monsoon, drunkards, "can any one tell me the meaning of Christmas!!!", beardasaurus, I heard you say the Church of Jesus Christ... come

First and foremost... Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone. Hopefully you enjoyed family, friends, food, presents, and the true Spirit of Christmas in giving. Just as kind of a Christmas afterthought here's a story from this week.

Friday nearly everyone had cleared out of town... or had begun drinking like fish.... so We were tracting like the whole day. Something Elder Black and I asked everyone was along the lines of "are you excited for Christmas?" "What are your plans for Christmas" "Is your family coming?" Etc. Well after about 4 hours of knocking and finding like 0 Christmas Spirit answers usually ranging from. "eh... not really excited... just going to sleep." "Me I'm gonna drink. come back in January" " I'm a sangoma I don't do that stuff" etc. I just prayed we could find a little miracle. Next house... we meet this lady named Martha. She just turned 80 and told us about her life. She had a big Christmas tree and pictures of her family and Christ everywhere. She told us how for the past 43 years she had given everything to care for children with handicaps and disabilities. She read from Luke 2 with us and said they searched for room at the inn. I've always asked myself do I have room in my heart. We gave her a Book of Mormon and wrote our testimonies in it and read 3 Nephi Chapter 1. "Lift up your head and be of good cheer... for tomorrow come I into the world." She thanked us as only a gogo can and called us her sons. Earlier that day I felt much like Charlie Brown who once asked "CAN ANYONE TELL ME THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS!!!!!" Well that was it. Christ, serving one another, and opening your heart to change and to help others. Little miracle of the week right there.

So Wednesday it was super hot. We tracted and just got super dehydrated so after a quick lunch and getting some cold water from a members place we began tracting again. First house... Half asleep 30 something year old woman. We introduced ourselves as coming from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and she was like... but eish I'm sleeping... So passalong carded and we moved on. Next house drunk guy on the porch.... Just as we were about to leave we heard someone call "guys I heard you say the church of Jesus Christ. What can you tell me." So we taught him about the restoration and he basically told us I've never gone to a church because no church is what Christ himself taught. Well he joined us at church yesterday and is already gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Katlego... legendary guy.

After leaving Katlego we noticed it was starting to rain. which was really nice because we were covered in sweat. then KABLAGHASLD;AM!!!!!! Huge... I mean huge thunder explosion and then torrential down pour. we were like 3 k's from any kind of shelter so full sprint through crazy downpour running through a riveresque dirt road thunder and lightning dancing around us TIA baby. Random flash floods all the time. So we got to the mall wrung out our shirts and the storm calmed down a bit so we started to head to our 5 o clock and the rain picked up again. then just like before QXAJGHLENALKBAM! Huge thunder strike and boom down pour again. We knocked on his door... ditched.... so sprint to the Ranato's for plastic bags for our scriptures then tracting... then... the rain stopped. clouds cleared. wonderful cool evening. haha good stuff.

So things are fun. We're doing great work, seeing miracles, living obedient, and bringing the gospel to many and we'll continue to do so.

Good to talk to a lot of you yesterday and thank you Cedar City crew for all the fun of the scripture reference presents. The razor went to shave my "Beardoff Showdown 2011 tm" Winning beard. and the happy factory elephant will get a great home as well as the white shirt. The CD is awesome! Thanks for all you guys do.... love you big time!

So have a Happy New Year, go forward guns blazing into 2012 and talk to y'all in a week

Elder Robinson

Monday, December 19, 2011

First born in the wilderness in the days of mine affliction, 3 hours?, Led not knowing the things we should do, hallelujah its Monday, buckets, and mo

Well.............. I really don't know quite where to begin... so let me just begin.

2 weeks ago we had baptisms of 4. It was really powerful. Brother Cyril just spoke of how he wishes he could get his whole family to be a part of this. (quick story) So we were preparing him for baptism and it turns out he has 15 kids haha... big family? hahaha. So his baptismal record is like huge with all of those kids... Mbekwhapi was sweet as heck. She's like 73 and said in Tswana basically this. "I have waited for this day for 50 years. I've walked the path... sometimes alone... But now I've entered the gate... and with my family. I thank my God and these two young men... man awesome

Mbali is my primary girl and went from this shy little girl and she just stood up and bore like a 2 minute testimony and just kept smiling. it was sweet I love my primary. Nkululeko was a hard core 7th Day Adventist who we finally converted. She basically said this in testimony. "This has been very hard. But nothing is more worth it." Even if you are completely exhausted after finding, the sun, dogs, rejection, days like Sunday make it all worth it.

One other cool thing was Sunday in Primary. I was teaching the Christmas story and we had a picture of Jesus and Mbali just went "awhhhh" one of the kids grabbed the picture and she said "don't touch him like that... that's our Savior." Man such a profound reverence man...Become as little Children. Mosiah 3:19 for sure.

So then Monday from 7 am until 11 pm we were, cleaning, moving, hauling, driving, sitting in traffic, and starving because we were out of food and never shopped. I hit the pillow and didn't move until 6:31 with the alarm still beeping in a daze.

Tuesday I went to meet my son. Elder Black is from Pleasant Grove and is a legend. He's a goofy kid and is just a little shell shocked with everything. Exactly what I was looking for. He's obedient, wants to work, has loads of energy and potential, and is just a bit green. Haha so now my job is simply to take that and turn him into a conversion machine. We had some legendary moments this week... more to come. The rest of the day we traveled... moved in some more... shopped... and hit up one appointment that night with William. He brought his friend Sylvester and though we didn't teach him anything we invited him to be baptized... which he accepted haha. Elder Black was like "man that's so cool... you just invite everyone" Yep... welcome to Joburg mission.

Wednesday we began our 3 hours of study.... eish... 3 hours. It's a new program that we helped bring to the mission in my ZL days and now its here... so I'm one of the pioneers of the program... the second group to go through it... It's a lot of work... but man its powerful, we lived the law of Moses and this is like the Saviors law... the new covenant. We then went to work tracting for two consecutive days with no appointments because of the area split.

Friday we Saw Oscar and Maphule a Family Elder Bangani and I found. We read the Christmas story because they want to more about Christ and after they were just like "we love the scriptures and we didn't even know it yet... We need to do this everyday... so it was a powerful lesson. and then we went to this super rich area I felt like we needed to go to. 2 minutes in we heard "Hello Elders" turns out a member is here visiting her family for the holidays and set them up to meet with us... We continued walking and came to a t junction and I asked Elder Black "where should we go..." perfect response "lets pray" so we did right then and there and we both felt left... so in the next 25 minutes we stumbled upon 7 families all of which we're seeing Tuesday and Wednesday. The very first house we met is a family of 7 who "Can't find a true church anywhere and are seriously looking and "have tons of questions for us" " So miracle....

Saturday was a lot of finding but Elder Black is really getting the hang of teaching by the spirit and being more confident in contacting. He's a bit shy... but that's why I think he got me... Mr. no inhibitions. So he's becoming an animal and we're really gonna see some great things.

Sunday during our 3 hours of Study which with church and a lunch appointment took up most of the day... we were studying our missionary purpose and it gave me a lot to reflect on... I flashed back to when I was just like him green, excited, nervous, not the most knowledgeable. and how the last 18 months I've been refined into what I am now... The simple truth is this. If you lose yourself... you'll find yourself Matthew 16.... Coming into this new year and Christmas season we do a lot of reflection on what we want to accomplish and how far we've come. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. i mean anything. I rarely get angry but one time is when someone tells us we're wasting our time. This is true in the words of Elder Ramos "this is where we need to be." So have a very Merry Christmas and just remember if you're doing your best no matter how much crap you're going through... its exactly what needs to be happening and exactly where you need to be.

Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday Eli, Happy Christmas Eve and pickle hunt, eat some pumpkin pie for me since it doesn't exist here (I'm super bitter :D)

Elder Robinson

apologies... but you'll understand.‏ 12/13/11

1. Yep we had baptisms this week 4 of them and it was super powerful. Like super powerful.
2. I have so much to talk about but because of #3. I can't
3. Hammanskraal is splitting. So the past 3 days have been non stop work moving in to the new place and getting beds, fridge, electricity, everything. Due to that I didn't email yesterday.
4. I'm going to be training a new missionary. WOO I'M A FATHER!!!!!! So because of that I have a meeting at 11 then have to go straight to work training him. So I only have 10 minutes to email now.
5. I'm just worn out after working hard all day... but I always have energy the next day... we're just dead at night.
6.Time is rushing. I miss nick and all those guys like crazy say hello for me and I've got a present for him when I get home.
7.Not much time left. I will be able to call Christmas day. Probably around 7 or 8 o clock here so 9 or 10 back home. I'll let you know the details next week.
8. sorry this is so short but I have seriously 0 time
Have a great week, love you all... you're grandparents to a new missionary! and it'll be a great week talk to you in 6 days.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Weeding, December baptisms, 6 weeks, Mr. Cox, Idol worship fornication and serving two masters

Transition week for sure... This week we cut down our 35 on dates to
20 and have decided to initiate a 3 strikes you're out approach to
investigators. We don't have time to waste with people who aren't
serious. So we extend a baptismal invite first lesson, if they A.
Ditch B.Don't read C. Don't come to church D. Don't keep other
commitments or begin to improve within 3 lessons. Do any of these
things 3 times... out... we have a huge area and a branch to build. So
no time to waste.

December however is looking great. If all goes according to plan we'll
get 7 this month. This Sunday we should baptize Nkululeko, Mbali,
Gogo, and Cyril. They all have good testimonies and are ready to be
branch builders. Cyril was a "staunch Anglican" who left everything
behind in 3 weeks of teaching. This area is full of prepared people
because the Lord is building His branch here so we simply have to find
them. Nkululeko is an ex 7th day Adventist. Her mom is a member and
we've been tearing down her walls of defense bit by bit and simply
said "I can't deny this any more its my time." Mbali is one of my 10
year old primary kids :D and Gogo stays with Nkululeko and family and
just told us she wanted to be baptized last week so "Ok we can do that

The following week we're hoping to baptize Karabo, Pauline, and
Koketso a family that lives just across from the church shouldn't
be a problem if they feel now is the time. If not... in January.

Hard to believe yet another 6 weeks has gone by and this is the final
week of the transfer which means y'all might be playing transfer news
next week. For some reason I feel I might be training... So maybe I
can finally have posterity before I die. who knows....

Kinda a funny story this week was on an exchange with Elder Hawks a
new missionary from California. He's pretty shy and... I'm not... we
had a day where every single appointment ditched so we found the whole
day. I taught him the pertinent skills of greeting old ladies in
Tswana and Zulu and just door approaching. We had a good day and found
some good people and I believe is starting to feel more comfortable.
He'll be a great missionary.

Towards the end of our day it was about 7:45 so we had about 45
minutes of work before pick up and going back to the flat so we
knocked a door taught the family, put them on date, and just had a
good lesson. Leaving the family we met a drunk guy... I mean DRUNK.
He smelt like a truck stop that the mopped the floor with Budweiser.
His name was "Mr. Cox" He went on to tell us how he was a democrat and
though he used to hate Afrikaaners he loves them because he's a
democrat and a friend of Jesus. We went on to tell him we were from
America and he started talking about how Obama and Jacob Zuma (South
Africa's President) are working together to save the world from
Zombies. he continued to say how because he is a democrat we can trust
him. We were going to meet the other Elders at a gas station so he
wanted to escort us. No harm in that so we walked with him and he told
us he wrote Nkosi Sikileli after the conflicts in the 70's and 80's
and how he was Mandela's right hand man. After about a 10 minute
conversation and getting second hand drunk from the smell we got to
the station. He then hugged us, smelt me and said God Bless America.
Needless to say Legen wait for it... dary!

So William also had some gems of quotes this week too. He's a good guy
who has a testimony but he likes to seem super intelligent and thinks
WAY outside the box... So this week we were teaching about the
atonement and how Christ prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. and he
said "do you think praying under trees was somehow kinda idol
worship?" I put my head in my hands, Elder Bangani laughed out loud
and we just told him no... I was always told in school there is no
such thing as a stupid question... but that was a STUPID question. He
later asked in the same lesson if reading the Book of Mormon and the
Bible was kinda like serving two masters (Matthew 6) eish man... I
don't know what he's thinking some times... But it makes for good

Anyway the work continues, we're finding great success and we'll be
moving into a school on the 10th of January. Our little branch has
tripled in size since we arrived and I am beginning to feel like a
whole hearted servant of the Lord. The closer we get to actually
getting it, the more we realize how short of it we are. It's something
I've been battling the past 6 months but I feel I'm getting it and am
on the right track finally my only problem is I'm tired haha the end
of every day I am destroyed. But soon enough I'll figure that out too.
Probably just need to eat more papa haha!

Have a great week

Elder Robinson