Monday, July 2, 2012

Ipelegeng, The Best Two Years, Nkosi Sikelel

Sunday morning 6AM the alarm goes off. "Good morning SUNDAY JULY 1ST" a strange feeling comes over me. You go home this month man.... Word's can't really paint what I'm feeling right now, its just something you have to experience for yourself. I packed my bags this morning and it felt like the whole world was spinning and it was so noisy, but inside was just this profound silence. This last week was probably the fastest of my life and this one I'm sure will smash its record. I've never felt anything like this before its like graduating high school again, but this time you're just diving into the complete unknown. Leaving home was the weirdest thing I've ever had, like I won't see or have any of this for two years, and I felt this fear/anxiety/excitement come over me, and now my heart is completely divided. Returning home to family, friends, college, the future, warm good old STG, and yet leaving behind the greatest experience of my life, a people who I love with all my heart, and diving home into I don't exactly know what. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but I've come to realize something. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Issac, someone he loved with all his heart, when Issac asked him where they would get the ram, he answered "the Lord will provide." I know I'm leaving behind a family, way of life, land, that will always have part of my heart, but It's only goodbye if I allow it to be. Jumping in to the mission field not having the firmest testimony, a lack luster knowledge of anything, and a fear of talking to complete strangers wasn't easy either. But look what became of it. The truth is, nothing in this life worth having or achieving doesn't come without sacrifice. But, if you just put a smile on, push forward, its not a sacrifice at all. It is a tremendous blessing. When someone says a mission is the best two years, that's someone who just lays it on the table forgets himself, and truly finds what's important. In the words of Jeffrey R. Holland. "My Mission Means EVERYTHING To Me" I've gained a knowledge of who I truly am, where I come from, what I can become, and how to work. Also how to laugh, how to remain positive even when your canoe has 6 holes you're going over a waterfall, and you used your paddle for firewood the night before, and what is truly important. I'm grateful for my family and all the support they have given me, from countless letters, emails, support, prayers, and just being there. I took them so for granted before. Little things like a bowl of cereal on the table at 7:45 when I rolled out of bed at 7:42 and have to leave for school at 7:50, just putting up with my crap and still trying on me. It just seems like the small sacrifices I've made being here have just turned into blessings worth more than any job, degree, or amount of money. So what I know is this. Sometimes you're expected to make sacrifices. In fact, life is all about making sacrifices. But, sacrifice doesn't lead to lack. It leads to the greatest happiness you could ever find. What makes it that way? put on a smile, roll up your sleeves, aim high, and watch it happen. I don't know what lies ahead, the thought of leaving my Afrika Khaya behind rips my heart in two... but what's the lesson. The Lord will provide. I have only the best ahead and my mission has been the LTC (life training center) there is nothing I could ask for more. I have not one regret looking back except for eating cold chicken a time or two, and perhaps not bringing a coat. But because I have truly lost myself in His service, I have truly found myself, and will continue to do so. That being said, there is no fear at all. Just joy in the journey, and great friends and family to make the best yet to come. So I want to close with my testimony. I will not be emailing next week because lets face it... why? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living church on the face of the earth. The Scriptures are the greatest collection of knowledge you could ever have period. Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet, and we are guided by the Lord's Apostles and Prophets. Jesus Christ walked this earth 2000 years ago, and in being one of the greatest teachers of all time, examples of how to live a life, and the Son of God, He is the Savior of all of us. If you don't know these things, there is a simple solution. John 7:17 If any man do His will, He shall know of the Doctrine...." I love my family, friends, and Africa with all of my heart and will never forget their impact on me. True happiness is only found in doing good, never in wickedness. I could speak all day, but I'll close by saying this is it, and never forget it. If you don't know, learn it for yourself. It's going to be so hard to leave even though i'm so excited to see you all, but I will be back to Africa, I will never forget this time, and I will go forward with a smile on my face. Nkosi Sikeleli AFRICA! Elder Kenyon Chase Robinson

Monday, June 25, 2012

Famous last words, Patrick, "the lord's drink", the proposal

So in today's lekker news, man Kanye is just a happening place to be. Still feeling fresh as a greeny we hit the ground tracting this week and found a sweet as heck new family. We went to this place that has been like hammered by missionaries in the past, but we felt to go there. We saw this guy walking in a crazy flame orange knit sweater and it was like "yeah man lets talk to him" we very skilfully cut him off at the pass without looking like car salesmen, and stopped him. He explained that he didn't go to church because everyone was all about the "holy spirit falling down and shaking things" and he never had read anything like that in the bible. So, we explained, and then he asked "why are there so many people doing strange things?" and we explained. "I want you to meet my whole family at 4, can you come?" Sure so we arrived and taught lesson 1. They really got it and the hilight of the lesson was ma who said "I've seen you around before, and people say you don't teach Jesus. I've been listening very closely and just feel something different about you, I know I was baptized wrong and even want you to help me get it right. I believe everything you have said" Prepared???? so We later returned with the Book of Mormon which they treated like a prized gem, and they have a baby in the oven who is due Wednesday, and they said if its a boy that they might name it Robseni WHAT UP! So Loving life, loving mission, just loving it man and I was supposed to give a talk on sunday, but we had stake high counsel and so I've been assigned to July 8th for a sort of famous last words goodbye 30 minutes. So, we'll see how that goes. In other funny news, I met a lady last monday while we were shopping and she asked for my ID when I used the card and saw I was from the USA so she proposed marriage to me and said she really wants to live in new york. eish man. I kindly declined and she just looked heartbroken... I don't understand man haha it was like I stomped on her balloon and took her candy. Also funny was brother Muchara who we went to go visit yesterday and just before we were about to leave was like, "oh wait, I have something for you. . . . . THE LORD'S DRINK!" he held up a 2 liter coke as if it was the vince lombardi trophy and man we just laughed and laughed... I love that guy. Well, not a ton to talk about this week, just typical business, but I just have this greatest happiness every day doing this, you really can't describe the fun of just day to day missionary work. Well, talk to y'all next week Elder Robinson

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 18 Lekker Clean font

o what to say about this week other than can you feel it? It is here! Man POWERFUL WEEK! to say the least about here in Kanye, but lets talk about it. First and foremost, we had 5 baptisms! We were planning on 7, but Matusi decided he "didn't know the scriptures enough" but put himself on date for the 8th of July. and sweet as heck this one, Mosha does boxing and was in a tournament that started on Friday. He just owned everyone, and even made it through all the rounds on Saturday, which meant, he would fight for a national championship bout Sunday. We don't know the results yet, but suffice it to say we may be baptizing the lightweight champion of Botswana on July 8th haha. But More' ,Shandow, Rapelang, Richard and Lesedi Benjamin, were baptized on Sunday and man it was sweet. So as you know, its winter here, so we decided to try to heat up the font, so we got these sweet ostrich egg incubator things that supposedly heat water really well, so we threw them in and sure enough, we baptized in like a hot tub. So afterwards cleaning up we basked in convert glory haha. Brother Benjamin floated around after his Baptism with a huge smile on his face classic. As always, the best part of baptisms are the testimonies that follow, and More' who is like total mans man was just like "now I can finally make my mom proud, I know my Heavenly Father is proud." We passed by last night and he was just like stoked out of his mind. "man you guys have no idea how good I feel right now. This is like the best day ever! Better than having the world cup in South Africa!" Shandow and Rapelang brought there mom to church with them and basically talked about how they were going to bring all the family to this church, and Brother Benjamin and Sister Lesedi we just like so stoked man sister Lesedi just had a huge smile and was talking about all the trials they went through and everything and how she just feels like a newborn baby and just huge smile. Brother Benjamin my first Jewish baptism! woo gathering Israel! Just spoke about the church, and how long he had been searching and even how back in the 70's he studied the History of the church, But it wasn't until he moved to little Kanye that he found the truth. So good man. I just feel so happy its seriously the fullness of Joy here in Kanye. In other news, we had a lot of lekker fun, hard work, some sweet new people, and a crazy trip to the hospital last night keeping us there until 1 Am. We got a call from Thato and Mompati two investigators that there baby was sick and needed a ride to the hospital at like 10pm so we rushed over and got them there just in time before Thato who is asthmatic had an attack and passed out in the hospital. Miracle right there. So we sorted everything out and she's recovering now. and the baby is fine! so all is well that ends well. Too many stories to tell about this week, but I'll close with a favorite. Elder Holman and I went on exchanges to do the baptismal interviews and the last time we were on an exchange, he fell into a ditch in the darkness. So we've decided its a curse of being on exchanges with me. Let me explain why. So first fall. we were on the way to More and walking through a little Levee to get there. I know to go slow down the wall, but he just went fire flying and fell like face first into the moss haha he just got up laughing, and wasn't hurt, but looked like swamp man pants. So it gets better. We had a super lekker lesson with brother Kaimba about receiving the priesthood, (which he and brother Mosetlhane received Sunday) and when leaving SPLASH! he fell into their pond knee deep haha. So good man, I laughed until I had to pee. So in short. it is the best of times here in Kanye, loads of fun, loads of work, loads of miracles, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Have a lekker week all. Elder Robinson

Monday, June 11, 2012

Never email in gabs, Lucky 7's, THERE IS FROST ON THE WINDOW!!!, "you missed the boat"‏

So if you ever happen to be in Gaborone, make sure you don't need to email something. It's so slow here man and so apologies in advance for how short this is, but I only have about 6 minutes remaining. But in terms of the work, dijo di monate rra. the work is nice. We are working for baptisms Sunday of Brother and Sister Benjamin, Matusi, Mosha, and Shadow, but surprise! Morray who we thought had gone off the deep end drinking actually just got his phone stolen, and went to the home village for a wedding and funeral. So boom getting baptized! And if that is not all, Rapelang made a total 360 and also is committed to Sunday. So Sunday we're having 7 count em' 7 converts baptized. President Nyoni is so pumped because they are all priesthood holders except sister Lesedi but she's like future Relief Society/ Young Women's Pres, so its like we're bringing home the Superbowl. So as I said, I'm going out in a blaze of glory and the last baptism will be on july 8th. But for now, we're just hitting the streets and tracting up a storm. We're trying to get 40 people on date for baptism by the end of the week. but we're finding incredible people, the Lord guides us house to house, and step by step. Kanye is a happening place. Many stories to tell of this week, they are to be had in my journal, so I'll close with one because of time. Sister Virginia was baptized about a month before I came to Kanye, and has since returned to the 7th day Adventist church. So we went on a mercy mission to invite her to come back. Tuesday Elder Kuseni invited her to pray about the churches and set the appointment. So Friday afternoon with Elder and Sister Moss, we arrived. She told us she prayed about 7th day, and just wants to go there, but didn't pray about the church. So we had a lengthy discussion about the restoration and bore testimony. We invited her to pray again and then she just got offended "I've already prayed! I won't ask God again." So Sister Virginia why did you get baptized? I knew the Book of Mormon was true, God answered me..... ok, so what's the problem then? Well I just feel I need to go back... where does that feeling come from, how does it feel, did you ask God? I KNOW HIS VOICE THIS IS MY CHURCH!!!! She proceeded to try to defend it, but she refused to pray, read, or come back. To which Elder Moss the legend that he is responded "Sister Virgina, you know nothing about the church, the temple, the restoration, the living prophet, callings, the members, you missed the boat sister Virginia... just pray" Yo she kicked us out so fast... But, defending the faith lessons you just feel this fire inside like you wanna shout from the housetops. It was sad, but following we continued right on teaching, and met a powerful group of teachers who live together who are "Hunting for His church" We roll on. Man Kanye is cold man we've hit -3 which is like 27 for you cats who use Fahrenheit. there is even frost on the windows at night... good thing I've got a snuggie! Have a good week everyone Elder Robinson

Monday, June 4, 2012

Toss the tie on that one, sisters...., smash and grab, Johannesburg home‏

LEKKER WEEK! Man we had such a fun week, let me tell you about it. BAM its Monday 3:58 AM and we wake up to the soothing sounds of EFY 2008.... I awake in a daze not knowing at first where I am. In my dream, we were in downtown NYC trying to hunt down the Keebler elf. We were being chased by some crazy Pakistani guys in a blue van. Supposedly in my sleep I said "don't worry man, just forget him he's gone, just take his bags." We were in Gabs and I slept on nothing but my towel on Tile. I woke up and was number 3 of 6 in the shower. 4:45 time to roll man pure manliness and grit. So we jumped in the Chevy Aveos just waiting for the sisters and at 5:30 we get a phone call... " Oh... sorry, we just woke up... we'll be over super fast. at 7 o clock... they showed... ugh sisters.... haha anyway we commenced to the border and lo and behold, they forgot their paper work so couldn't get through the border. We originally planned on being through at 6 but after a 3 hour delay at the border it was about 11. nice... Woo no sleep! So the legendary road trip commenced with unshaven groggy missionaries, but a legend of a week planned. We arrived in Joburg, and man it was so dang cold, but after many happy reunions and high fives until my fingers were rattled, we went to Carnivore an all you can eat restaurant where we enjoyed such cuisines as Crocodile, Zebra, and every antelope species under the sun. We just missed the hippo.... And thus it was, Monday completed. Tuesday morning we woke up and went to transfers this time to see Elder Hancock a brother for life die. It was like the most profound anxiety/fear/sadness/excitement/butterfly feeling ever. It was time and he was out and all of a sudden, we're the oldest kids on the block. We got to see him off at the airport but more on that in a bit. The sisters wanted to all go to the Temple and see Sister Blum off, but because of poor timing and me being one of the few missionaries that knows the East Rand like I know my own basement I was assigned to be their escort along with E. Kuseni and the other Bots ZL's so our road trip plans were put on pause, no distribution center or anything and STRESS man. Because we were told to drive them around presidential style, but they are used to Botswana quiet 2 lane roads and donkeys, not Megalopolis 6 lane freeways. man I know now what all those guys in the movies with a president feel like man... non stop sweat. The temple was super enjoyable and I saw brother Jubber again a sweet member from Nelspruit. But now was the real challenge Joburg 6 o clock rush hour traffic, in the dark, to the airport.... yeah man. We popped in the Beethoven's 5th and started rolling. But we got there without much hitch and got to see the dying men from beyond the veil checking through the gates. Which was pretty legit. Wednesday quick ZLC followed by all of our errands crammed into about 20 minutes but if all goes well I'll get my loin cloths, and Zulu chest plate just fine. Then... to the border. Boom Power outage. T. I. B. and 2 hours at the border. After a crazy journey we finally rested at the Broadhurst flat. Or so we thought. mid dinner car alarm goes off. We go outside and its another car in the complex... so back to our meal... no joke like 30 seconds later it goes off again... but keeps going so we go outside. Our car was smash in grabbed and they took our suits! and they didn't even have the courtesy to leave our name tags haha. But best news ever the mission brown suit they totally left it! I still get to wear it the Lord showed a tender mercy there... It cannot and will not ever leave the mission. So after the excitement, we went back and had a sick remainder of the week, lekker teaching, a sweet new father named Duncan, the Benjamin's still tea free, Matusi coming to church, Mosha converting his friends, and the Mabe family doing so good. Kanye is on fire man and if all goes according to plan 12 baptisms before July 8th. going down in a blaze of glory indeed! So one last sweet thing happened, on Sunday in front of everyone at the pulpit Bro. Muchara said and I quote "It's ok to have herbal tea and water when you fast, even the Savior had a sip of water or two during the 40 days.:" Well toss the tie over the shoulder on that one, try explaining that to 20 investigators... haha but gotta love the branch. Someone also called on me 3 times during their testimony to read scriptures out loud. But other than that. Love it. Our Priesthood class is doing awesome and we've spent a lot of time in sections 107, 20, and 84 lately and its like our very own school of the prophets on the doctrines of the kingdom. It is seriously a dream job being here. Well very long winded this week and I'm pretty dang exhausted hallelujah for P-day. Love you all, We're blazing it up here and will continue to do so. Much love, Lerato, and the like from Botswana Elder Robinson

Monday, May 28, 2012

I can see my breath... and its may, Welcome Elders, what do you have for me, The work goes forth, Rodizio‏

It's cold man... It's winter and I gave my coat to Elder Black and my flannel shirts to Elder Dirkmaat. Good thing I'm a man and have grizzly hairy arms! I'll just tough it out for a month though I'll miss the winter come July. But here I am in JOZI CENTRA:!!!!! WOOO!!!! It's good to be back home in South Africa and to see the brothers. But... to the week. So first things first. Confirmation of Brother Kaimba yesterday and it was sweet. He just spoke in Priesthood about how good it feels and how he can't wait to magnificate (magnify) his calling haha. He's so great and we even had Youth Conference. Mosha our investigator called us and said "Man the music, the dancing, the young women, the food, the spirit, the messages, the church! Why couldn't you guys find me earlier?!?!?" So in short Kanye is lekker man. I love this place and am so happy I get to die here. It's very Elder Robinsonesque to die in the wilderness I feel and I'm going down with a bang man. In the worlds of E. Jenkinson, you can die lazy, or you can die crazy. I choose to die crazy. So here's some crazy. We're teaching the head pastor of Southern District Botswana of the 7th Day Adventist Church, and we're melting his face with doctrine. this weeks topic, "intelligences, agency, and the immortality of the soul." We're gonna convert that guy man he's actually really humble. Some updates also, are on brother Benjamin who is coffee and tea free for 2 weeks now. June 17th anyone? the only thing we're worried about is cold water. because like seriously it's cold now. This week on a funny note, we went to an all you can eat meat restaurant called Rodizio and all had so much raw meat that 20 of the 36 missionaries in Botswana had wicked gas. But the Dijo was Monate. Time is kinda short, because we have so much to do, but I'm loving it. Joburg feels so nice and its hard to believe the final tour of duty begins tomorrow. crazy. But anywho, I'm going to not die, but fade away and just set Botswana on fire. So to make people ask questions about "why the heck do you get so much mail you're dying" Now is the time. dearelder is free and its only like 98cents for a regular letter. I'll try to write back haha because I've got many stories to tell. but lets make people ask questions and have lots of confusion eh? Back to the work! Love you all Bafundisi Robinson

Monday, May 21, 2012

Is it transfer time again?

Transfer time again and I'm almost positive I will die in the wilderness of Botswana West. Nevertheless... we will go down for transfers because we have a meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. We don't know yet we'll find out on Friday. Yep Mosetlhane, Phenyo, and Brother Kaimba all got baptized it was sweet. at last the drought has passed. I'll probably do a bit of shopping the next two weeks as we'll be in gabs an Jozi. Temple included. Well done BYU, go Heat. Go poo. And so I'm getting a tie but won't be in attendance? I'll try to send some pictures today. and I'll be doin some sweet Zulu singing with officer nasty in about 6 weeks. reunion tour anyone? yeah. Life is good. time goes faster and faster and I'm the oldest man in the mission starting next week Tuesday. crazy, But such is life. We got an eclipse last year and it was sweet. but it was at night. Lunar eclipse not solar.

The drought is over, if I go to hell I go to hell, and then there was 1.‏

At long last the drought is past. I hadn't baptized anyone since January and I was starting to get the itch. But we had a powerful Sunday with 2!!!! future Melchezidek priesthood holders baptized and Phenyo an awesome Young woman. So brother Itebale Mosetlhane and his daughter Phenyo Mosetlhane have never been baptized before... kinda a rarity here. and have been church to church to church for most of their lives. We tracted into him on a day with 0 success or lessons, But look what comes when you go to work. He stood up and just spoke up about how he has found "it" and now will bring it to all the Mosetlhanes. Phenyo was terrified but said in about 5 seconds "I will serve God until the day that I die from this moment forward". Brother Kaimba was found also tracting and though his wife and 2 kids went to another church he said " I always thought Jesus was a joke." But yesterday he was just so happy I've never seen him smile like that. He spoke about quitting drinking and following God with all his heart. POWERFUL. that was a testimony and a half. The service ended with Pres. Nyoni saying "Elders this is the best!" These priesthood brethren are just the miracles we need. Kanye ward 2013??? So back to work. We've had the celebration time to get back to finding now. And so we will. I promised the Lord 2 years no time to take it easy and hang up the boots now. So we went this week and stumbled upon people who wanted to bash with us, which are always some of the funnest lessons because fighting the truth is the stupidest thing you can do. After shutting down any argument and inviting them to pray we had a legend of a quote. "If I go to hell... I go to hell... leave me be." Well our job is done haha. So we closed with a prayer. But seriously what we have is needed by everyone so how can we slow down. If all goes well 8 will be baptized in June and we are going to establish Zion here in Kanye. Only 1 transfer remaining yet so in the words of Bon Jovi its time to go down in a blaze of glory. So quick to the field and lets make it happen. Kanye is legend and there are so many people to talk about that I could never do justice in an email. So just know things are lekker here and June is going to be Legen what? dary. I may not email next week because of the Jozi trip but I'll do what I can... enjoy the baptism pictures!. Elder Robinson. P,S, The computer is too slow to send pics so maybe next week. Much love from Botswana

Monday, May 14, 2012

Some real lekker vors, resident of Malatswanaland, Older brother, that's flippin sweet man.‏

Hello one hello all! Sweet to talk to you all last night and to hear the happening in the US of A. It was a sweet week in Botswana we've had kinda a non typical week because we really were focusing on bringing members with us teaching... and well... We brought bro. Muchara with us to teach a brand new family who struggles a bit with attending church and he went on to tell a 20 minute story about farming, singing, and summer squash only to close by saying and that's why I like church... But lo lo and behold they made it Sunday so woo hoo! The same night he shamboked and investigator for drinking tea and... lo and behold she quit! So even though we were horrified mid lesson... all things work for a reason. We had a bit of sad news this week because Joseph's pastor will not let him leave the church and the Dipuo family wrote a divorce letter from their church to come to ours, only to have a calling extended by their pastor... As I spoke about last night the real difficulty of the work in Africa is not finding someone to teach, but helping them leave kinda the corruption they are in. But... the work goes forth. Mosha, Mosetlhane, Penu, and hopefully Richard and Lesedi will be baptized Sunday the latter two rest on whether he has quit tea completely... And... all else is awesome. We met a 20ish year old girl named Tsapang and invited her to church, and not only did she come but she brought her 4 brothers, sister, and mom, and the father is coming next week. After the service, the mom said "I can see us being members of this church. It was a really cool week full of just little miracles. On Friday I got to go on exchanges with Elder Van Heerden and we had a ton of fun and did great work. He's been struggling with a few things so we had a good chat and he basically told me how I was like his older brother and how he always can turn to me for advice. It was really cool and one of those times where I really felt like I was fulfilling my purpose. I think the reason its so weird and tough to be finishing is simply the people, members, and missionaries I'm around. This is all I know... but it won't be over... just on pause... and these guys will be brothers for life. So in other news sounds like the wedding was sweet wish I was there... but my cardboard counterpart was and I'll see all you cats in a few weeks. I'll be sending a little fun email from South Africa hope you all enjoy it... the rats really are that big in Joburg. Elder Robinson

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lekker Bonskopie, awkwardville, Morray, other funtivities‏

Sweet week here in the land of Botswana! The Benjamins are making good progress but still struggle with Tea... funny story... on Cinco de Mayo which is definitely not celebrated in Africa except by the few the proud and the brave... anywho,after enjoying a real lekker glass of Horchata it hit me... they hate hot chocolate... they don't really like Milo... but who can't like Horchata?!?!? So sure enough that night we had a sweet lesson about fasting and invited them to fast to quit and even to share their testimonies on Sunday. and bum bum bum I brought out the big guns. Horchata baby! 30 minutes later we got a text from brother Benjamin "consensus... Horchata is hot hot hot" Sunday morning came and they haven't touched tea or coffee! Of course the fasting was the real thing... but they did finish half the bag of mix which makes 10 liters haha. Also sweet this week was Bro. Mosetlhane. He stood up to give his testimony on Sunday and was just like " I am trying with all I can to live the word of wisdom and all of these commandments. I want to be a priesthood holder of God, and I want to make my Father in Heaven proud. I will join this church by baptism on the 20th." So all is well here. everyone that we are teaching is progressing, we have 25 people preparing for baptism in the coming three months, and well life is good. We had a cool experience this week as we were preparing to go to Gaborone to be hosts for the BYU young ambassadors. We needed to leave Kanye at 4 to be on time and it was about 3:30 and we had a ditched appointment. So we could have easily gone to the apartment, got some water, kicked it for 5 and left early... but we didn't. We decided to go knock. The very first house we met a guy named Morray who is PREPARED. We sat down and after about 5 minutes of cracking some jokes " My grandfather was a great man but never got the chance to be baptized where is he?" Well we answered. Question 2 "Why don't we have more than just the Bible" Well we answered. Question 3. "why are there so many prophets and churches these days." So yeah haha that's like asking a missionary "would you like to come over for dinner?" Then we drove to Gabs to see the show... The show was nice... and even Whitley Osborn was one of the singers so that was rad. Go Flyers... It was really good to be there, but it felt so awkward. 7PM Tuesday, concert, with dancing, singing, and romance. AWKWARD. Its like we should be teaching, we should be contacting someone but it was just so uncomfortable haha. But we did get to talk to some people about the church and that was nice... But we got home at 11! apostasy! Anyway we came back and we went to see Morray and his car was parked in the middle of the road and this lady was standing outside the house. We asked if she was locked out and she said yes and we asked if Morray was home and she was like yes.... So turns out he broke up with her and now she was back for some kinda crazy revenge. So we were trying to get in and he wanted to keep her out but she did like a banshee leap into E. Klumker who I was on exchanges with and forced her way in... Women are crazy by the way... and we had like the most awkward 5 minutes of my life. In the end... he just ignored her and we had a sweet lesson and he agreed to be baptized though I have no idea how the lesson was so good considering the cirumstances with her right there on the couch...So we left and turns out she cut her wrists at his place was sent to a psychiatric hospital then sent home in Serowe half way across the country. So it was one heck of a Friday haha. But things are sweet in Botswana and I love it here. Our investigators are powerful and bit by bit we're establishing the branch here. It feels good, and the 20th is going to be a legend of a Sunday. Well talk to y'all on Sunday. Welcome home E. Smith the 27 month hiatus on long boarding is almost up! and for that... bones across the globe... Gosiami mense.

Monday, April 30, 2012

This week in Botswana, the Lord requireth a willing heart, man I wish I knew this when I was younger, the miracles.‏

Man what a week here in Kanye! SO good. After an absolutely insane Monday running back and forth through the border, we finally got to go to work. Winter hit hard Tuesday and there was frost everywhere, but we met some great people. We met a family called the Ntsima family. Sister Ntsima met missionaries in Namibia about 10 years ago, was taught by a bishop in SA and has now met 3 sets of missionaries in Botswana. She told us she was afraid of the Book of Mormon, but we spoke about the restoration and how God keeps sending this church to her and it softened her heart. She had a TON of concerns, but the funny thing is you can't find the truth, every scripture, every point against us we turned it back. Also on Tuesday we had a sweet lesson with Mosetlhane about the Law of Chastity. We taught him with his 13 year old daughter and he offered to give us a ride back after after some few minutes of small talk, we got this quote of the century " You know Elders, I like this Law of Chastity, I just wish I had known it when I was younger.I would have been a rich man haha! You see, if you were a ladies man like me, that's all you care about. But after having kids, settling down and getting married there is nothing like being a family man". Bro. Mosetlhane is awesome and definitely has been prepared for us. In fact, everyone we're teaching now, just seems to be so sincerely looking for the truth. We had to work, and sweat, and tract, but we found them. This week in my study of the Doctrine and Covenants I came across "He requireth sacrifice and tithes his people.... The Lord requireth the willing heart, and a willing mind... and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days." I don't know exactly what God wants me to learn knocking on doors from 10AM until 9PM for months at a time, and only meeting a few he has prepared, but I give this as a partial answer. It has been an undeniable testimony to me of doing what's right, even if you don't see immediate or massive results. The truth is, if your heart is right, and you just go to it... that's all he asks. I think that's probably some good advice for just about anyone, but especially as the future holds, college, marriage, and fatherhood, I don't think he could teach me anything more essential. The day to day fun and enjoyment I find in just missionary work would never be possible if I didn't go to work and keep a good attitude. Its a lesson I feel I've learned again and again in my months as a missionary, but it came especially strong this week. I've been studying a lot lately about sacrifice, and sometimes I feel a bit like Abraham asked to sacrifice something he loves so much. I'm not ready to be done, but the time of my dream of being a missionary in Africa is drawing to a close. It was a bit of a sacrifice, but now I can't imagine my life without it. But, just like the scripture says, the Lord will provide. I don't know in what way, or with exactly what, but whatever it is I'm gonna go forward with my heart, might, mind and strength... and that's all he asks. We also have been really enjoying light saber fights in the flat and I'm beating everyone down with authority, the pop tarts are nice happy birthday indeed, and I couldn't be happier. Kanye is legendary and we'll see 5+ baptisms this month more details to come on those, but for now I'll close. The work is Monate (tasty) and I'll talk to y'all next week Monday. Elder Robinson

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

So waar in Suid-Afrika is die woeste leeu Robinson?Is hy nog steeds by Die wonder grot of in Kanye?‏

Monday 6 AM we embark on the most legendary road trip to Joburg ever fathomed by SAJM missionaries ever. The participants E. McNally, E. Zondi, E. Littlefield and yours truly. We embarked from Gaborone to the Pioneer Border with delicious phaphata and 24 440ml cokes for the 4 of us. we down 3 each before reaching the border just 30 minutes away. Turns out half of us were illegal so after swooning the customs agents we made it through and I have 42 days and counting til illegal immigrant Elder Robinson. After 5 minutes we made and emergency pee stop and met the caravan in Zeerust. We rolled down the R509 which is like driving on the surface of the moon it has so many potholes. After the caravan loosing 2 tires (Elder Brey former companion) we made it to Joburg. We went to the Meat n' Eat for dinner and all enjoyed Eisbein which is like half the leg of a pig and went to sleep getting to the mission home around 9:30. Tuesday transfer day which means seeing all the old crew. Always super nice and many happy reunions were made and many trunky sarcastic comments made by the younger missionaries... its getting crazy We're the oldest 2 groups now. E. Littlefield gave his dying advice and his flight didn't leave until 9 so we went to play with white tigers and got some nice cuts. We dropped him off and I got my new companion E. Kuseni from Zambia he's awesome and we're having loads of fun. He calls cockroaches Chris Brown's and we teach so well together the fire really will keep going in Kanye. The next two days Wednesday and Thursday we spent driving back to Kanye and got back around 7 on Thursday. Your typical work commenced until Sunday when we got the phone call that E. Zuma was being deported. They deleted his 90 additional days. So back to the border yesterday where we brought E. Dirkmaat across and they questioned me for going back and forth so many times creating ridiculous border issues. and I hit 40 days and 40 nights left on Thursday in Botswana. So things are gnarly plus we're organizing home teaching. I'm the senior missionary in the area now in terms of time here and time on mission and so I have to show 3 missionaries the area. But its all good, all part of the job and its exciting. Everyone is doing great. Mosetlhane and his daughter received their answers and are 100% committed to May 20th. Richard and Lesedi made it to church again and are looking good, and the arguments have ceased, we have two powerful young men Joseph and Mosha who are so prepared its not even funny. On Sunday the pastors at the other church next door were questioning them and they bore sweet testimony. Bakang, Tony, Matusi, Oabona, and so many others are doing so great. Honestly I couldn't be happier with the area, my companion, and everything that is happening in Kanye. It is going to be a legend of a transfer and the branch is really beginning to grow. If all goes well we could be a ward by the end of the year and Botswana could have its own stake SO soon. General Authority??? But I love it, all is well in the life of E. Robinson and I enjoyed my birthday cake and having a sweet road trip to commemorate it. Much love to the Cedar City crew for the birthday cards I've got something sweet coming your way and everything is lekker. Much love, Elder Robinson. Elder Kuseni (Koo Sen ee) from Lusaka Zambia. The one and only Zambian in the mission and its awesome haha I think I'll be alright. If anything I might run out of toothpaste like June 25th or so and I can subsist on the superglue taste South African toothpaste until the 10th. Um I need to consult our diamond expert Mr. E. Williams. My plan was to find out the details the next time I see him (in 5 weeks) or you could open a correspondence via him through his mama. Then once we know the details... my last 2 weeks or so or that last Monday I'll buy and keep them on me. But yeah probably find out through him.. the guy is in their ward in Centurion if I'm not mistaken Ha they thought we were smuggling contraband through our packages from home and the church boxes so they knifed them all open. but all is well. E. Zuma had his 80 days revoked though hence the late email. he was deported yesterday Sorry about the funeral and everything but it sounds like she went out like she wanted to. She was a super cool and strong lady so that's a good thing. Apologies for the lack of emails and lateness lately... but things are crazy... let that suffice for now haha. Excited to fly to London with the whole crew. That'll be a crazy thing to split from everyone though... crazy its just about 2 months away. I don't have tons of time today. because the system is super shaky and they are doing repairs on the network. but I'll do my best to fill you in on everything here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This is Lent man, Easter, mission walking day, just do it, these ones are not serious‏

Super good week here in the land of Kanye. The Kaimba family was a huge success this week. They've been dwindling for sure lately, so we just decided to paste them with action packed 15 minute lessons. So Boom WOW, LOC, Follow the Prophet, and Prayer. They ask so many great questions, Kabo is going to come to church, and they finally accepted a baptismal date. All of them. Now we just need to really work with Kabo. He's 20 and super active in his church. We've one brother Steven the father and he reads the Book of Mormon like crazy. The mom is coming, and we've won the heart of their 8 year old daughter and she even started bringing her friends to church. Kabo is reading, but I don't think he wants us to be right, because he loves his church.

In other news the Mosethlane family is awesome. His wife is down from Maun in Northern Bots and she just loves us man, she's so happy her husband is changing. We taught the Gospel last night and man it was powerful it closed with him saying " I just can't believe you guys volunteer, but this church is something else, I really hope my wife can join me. Too bad that these ones (pointing to his kids) are not serious." man we laughed haha and its because they just whisper and giggle the whole time we're there. But he's powerful and hasn't missed church in 5 weeks. He takes notes all lesson and Sunday and is so pumped for conference.

On a sad note, Bro. Benjamin picked up cigarettes again so baptism has been pushed back to the 29th. Lets keep the fingers crossed there. But his wife Lesedi is so powerful and even paid tithing this week.

So... Things are stellar, as they always are and we did a lot of great finding this week, because it was mission walk day. We met a 20 year old kid named Joseph who after teaching the restoration called his father who speaks no English and taught him the whole lesson. They then asked what should we do? So we put them on date. Elder Littlefield was about to say "Don't take our word for it you can pray about it" but before he even got there they were like "No we have to believe. this is it". So day to day miracles go down here and this is the principle. If you keep a good attitude and simply work it. There is no way you can be dissatisfied with yourself or your work. You will accomplish what needs to be accomplished. Or to be slightly more scriptural, "The Lord requireth a willing heart, and a willing mind, and the obedient shall eat the good of Zion." I have really learned this big time lately. Just go to work. That's it... don't complain, don't slack, just do it. The lessons I've learned on my mission I wouldn't trade the world for seriously and I've still got 3 months left to learn (gulp).

So anyway, I turn 21 this week and we have a stellar Joburg road trip planned for next week. First a car full of delicious phaphata and cool drink. Border crossing!, Then we will get to Krugersdorp. First wrestle with tiger cubs, second, go to carnivore an all you can eat buffet with zebra, crocodile, springbok, hippo, and elephant meat, temple session, and traditional market. Transfers Tuesday, new companion, temple session because we're travelers, night in the mission home with the tradition of meat and eat restaurant for Botswana missionaries. Then ZLC the next day, travel day, sleep in Gabs, back to Kanye Thursday. It's gonna be legend.

So I get to have a legend of a birthday and still be perfectly obedient. Thank you Botswana border trip! Lent was good the prank lasted 3 days until the other guys found out and we all had a good laugh followed by a sweet Friday passover feast.

Well, back to work. We've got a 3 o'clock with two pastors and a staunch 7th day, so we're about ready to rumble haha and a good week ahead of us.

Well, have a great week, the next time you speak to me I'll be legal to buy handguns (God Bless America).

Elder Robinson

Monday, April 2, 2012

Interviews, Mosethlane, the power of testimony, Molepolole, Lent

Super great week. I apologize ahead of time if there are grammatical errors I've been up since 4 this morning. The people next door were slaughtering chickens in for some reason and the Palm Sunday celebrations went late into the night. But I'm feeling great because it was an awesome week.

The Benjamin family is doing great. Richard and Lesedi are progressing nicely and have been reading every day. He told us he loves fast Sunday because he can take a big gob of Sacrament bread and it helps him to make it through. I love that family. Their little girl Bothle is about 2 and I finally get her to give me a hi five. In Tswana you say "tsa" and that means take. So now when she sees us she says tsa and hi fives us. They will be baptized for sure on April 15th.

We were with Elder Maybee for 3 days this week because Elder Zuma went to SA to get his drivers license. So it was kinda fun because E. Littlefield and I have a really good teaching system going and he was confused a lot and fell asleep one lesson haha. But Elder Zuma made it back Wednesday after President interviews and brought SASKO brown. I love that Zulu haha we had delicious toast for the first time in weeks. Botswana bread tastes like baked playdough... don't ask how I know how that tastes but I was an exciting 5 year old.

President interviews were really nice. He knows me well, we sat down "how's your physical health?" good. "How's your spiritual health?" good. "Alright, lets get to business." We spoke a lot about accountability and serving with no regrets. I think that's why I love my mission so much, we had a good talk and I was able to say, that I had no regrets, that I continually gave my best, and honestly there is nothing better to say. Matthew 16 has a scripture which reads, "He that loseth his life shall find it, he that keepeth his life shall lose it" I think that is probably one of the biggest lessons I've learned. I can't even tell you how much I have seen myself change. Lately I've been doing a lot of "one year ago today's" in my journal. I love my mission... every day. You've gotta go if you haven't seriously. The way things are going now, I still have the fire I did when I was young, and its because I just love it. Every day is part of the best two years, and the Lord is seriously hooking us up right now. Great people, and day to day miracles. I honestly couldn't ask for more. I just am blown away by how the time has gone.

This week we had one great lesson with a guy called Tirro. He completely accepts the book of Mormon but disagrees that only our church should use it. So we spoke, and explained. Eventually it just boiled down to testimony. he said "I can never leave my church" So bam E. Robinson and E. Littlefield on stage. After 21 months you get a pretty dang good testimony of what you teach and as we sat there under the acacia tree I just felt like I was giving him advice from all my soul. E. Littlefield as well. He paused, countenance completely changed and just said. "It's going to take some time to divorce my church, but In the future I'll be a member" Pres. Poulsen counseled us to write down experiences where you feel the Spirit. That was a big time confirmation. The truth is, there is nothing like this no matter how hard you look. If you don't know that, there is only one way to learn. Live it, love it, and then pray about it.

Brother Mosethlane is also doing just great his wife got her promotion, he is so stoked for his baptism, and he wants us to come teach at the prison to the 160 prisoners. So we're working on permission. All in all everything is sweet.

Well, in commemoration of Easter we decided to have a passover feast with unleavened ciapatis and phaphata and lamb mutton "don't forget to leave a place for elijah!" Yeah we decided to speak in scriptural phrases all week long in the flat and can drink only fanta grape this week. and we even found dreydels. Can you say legendary week? We also set up a kind of April fools joke where we are having "lent" and giving up warm showers. But the only one who doesn't know is E. Maybee. Because he said we could never get him with an April fools joke. Well... we'll see on Friday. :D

Anywho... it's been a great week and I'm looking forward to this one. All you lucky ones who got to see conference I'm super jealous we'll probably see it in 3 weeks. ugh It's like waiting for Christmas.

Elder Robinson

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

¨caucasians in my stomach¨, finally, stake conference, Botswana is legend

So to answer your questions...

Chicken Licken? did you find healthy meat in Botswana... Well we were brave and... fail. Nothing but bombs for 3 days. Here is a classic quote for our time from Elder Zuma. ¨I think I have a problem.¨ what is that? ¨I think I have caucasians in my stomach¨ man we laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed. He meant so say constapation but he has been around americans so long I guess we´ve somehow worked our way into his stomach.

We finally got back to work this week and had a stellar week. We met a new father called Mosethlane. He´s a head prison guard out here and after teaching about the restoration this was his prayer ¨thank you for sending my elders here tonight. Thank you for the prophet Joseph, and bringing your power back to the earth. Thank you for this free book the Book of Mormon, and thank you for this truth. I will follow it and Be baptized. amen¨.

Supernal joys of missionary work right there. man so good. We are making incredible progress with our pool and everyone has testimonies and are coming to church. Honestly couldn´t be happier. Brother Benjamin is great, just a big week of finding. I don´t know much of what to talk about just everything is great. I promise I´ll have greater detail this week. But it was just awesome. nothing more, nothing less.

Elder Robinson

Monday, March 19, 2012

Deportation day, Immigration office, some sweet families

Well to be perfectly honest. I feel as though I've done nothing this week haha. I feel so ineffective a curse a black plague of missionary work. But its not my fault... let me explain.

So I arrived in Bots on the 7th of march and I am illegal on the 6th of June. Let the countdown begin. So what we're trying to do to further the work here is get residency so we can stay for at least a year if needs be. The only problem is, I finish my mission in July and it usually takes 3 month to process and even then its a lottery. So soon I'll be an illegal immigrant... Legendary... and will get deported. Unless I get incredibly lucky. Nevertheless, we went to immigration.

So Tuesday we went to the office and did a ton of paper work and the office closed at 3:30 so we were told to go back the next day simply to pay. So we did... Lo and behold after waiting 3 hours in line the system went down... come back tomorrow. TIA.... So we get back... power is out.... TIA.... so Friday we come back. after driving about 2 hours to Gaborone and sitting. Lo and Behold, the power is out again. So we start to drive back and we get a phone call its on... so we flip around and go back and wait in line until 3 o clock and finally got to pay after 4 days of sitting and travel. This Is Botswana.

So our whole week was pretty much destroyed by that so we didn't do much at all. But we're teaching a powerful Jewish family who are going to be baptized next month. They gained hard core testimonies of the BOM and we are also teaching the awesome Kaimba family. The father is so great. we just need to win the trust of the son. He doesn't believe we're the only true church. Also we super offended the wife of another family so we're hoping to patch that up tonight. and we contended with some 7th day Adventists. all in a weeks work. So due to time... I'll close, but I love Botswana. I just hate the immigration office. In fact, we composed a song about it which was recorded and will be released in its own due time. anywho much love from Africa and we'll talk next week.

P.S. there was a donkey on our stoop this morning. So legendary... so Botswana

Elder Robinson

Monday, March 12, 2012

Transfer news?, fine... take offense..., the big 5... Road trip.‏

Oh snap ladies and gentlemen it's time for your favorite game where in the world is Elder Robinson! If you guessed Africa you're right! But that wasn't an option. So drum roll please.................. Kanye, Botswana in the Botswana West Zone. as ZL's we cover the land of Lobatse, Molepolole, and Kanye.

Yep... So I am in the land of Pula and Zebra's. We have a new big 5 up here... The Cow, The Chicken, The Donkey, The Goat, and The Baboon. the meat is not the greatest. So much so that McDonalds does not exist here due to low quality meat, so I may be going vegetarian for a while. It's hot here. It feels like home haha its about 100 during the days and super dry so I feel at home and everywhere I go is with a smile. Dumela Rra? Lekgae? Riteng. Life is pretty slow paced, but I really enjoy it. It's fun to talk to the people. Every transition in conversation you say Ehhhhh!. Just like the Fonz. So that's pretty cool.

So due to the travel up here, we had quite the journey. We spent Tuesday night in Joburg and hit up an evening temple session. We spent the night at the mission home but first went to dinner at meat n' eat. May I just say this much about a legendary dining experience. We had Eisbein. Which is like half of a pig leg. and we each got our own. we had leftovers for the next 2 days of travel. We then had ZL meeting and I saw some good buds I.E. Elders Williams, Yugawa, Huntsman, Hill, Hancock, Mcnally, and others. It was so much fun. So then we drove forever, haha 5 hours to the border, craziness there, Spent the night in Gaborone, got like de-wormed, and mentally checked. one of the questions was "are you an idiot or imbecile?" and got some passport stuff worked out. Then another 3 hours to Kanye arriving at about 6 pm Thursday. So Bots is having a lot of problems with Visa's and so I'll probably be deported in 86 days. So keep that on your countdown clocks haha.

I'm with Elder Littlefield, the man, the myth, the legend. He's awesome I've known him my whole mission and I get to kill him which will be a fun 6 weeks. We're teaching some great families especially the Kaimba's. We just found them this week and the father is Golden. They came this Sunday and are doing absolutely great. Just the son took offense when we told him his high paid pastor has no authority... so yeah haha that's always fun. But we won his trust because we mowed the lawn for him. We're also teaching brother Benjamin a British/Hebrew. He's awesome and one of those random white people you find in villages sometimes. He's got an intellectual testimony of the church and already has a calling as the organist though he's not a member. He jazzes up the hymns with computerized drums and horns haha it was awesome swaying to guide us o thou great Jehovah yesterday.

To be frank, this is basically ideal situation. Decently established branch on the verge of becoming a ward, humble people, and great missionaries in our zone. Plus... I'll probably get to see one more area and be a refugee... Legendary? I think so.

Well being that I've only really been here 2 days, I don't have a whole lot to talk about. But its going to be sweet. So stay classy all you people.

Elder Robinson

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sala Sindle Hammanskraal. Hello ?

Powerful week. Busy week. Apologies for the late email. I have about 7
minutes to tell you about a legend of a week, but here goes.

I love Hammanskraal, it is a home away from home, and I have memories
and part of my heart in that place always. We'll be a branch by the
end of April and have a school almost 100% secured. We are currently
teaching a sweet as heck family Koti, Nancy, Katlego, Mr. George,
Carl, and Refilwe. They will be baptized no doubt.

WE had a bit of disappointment in people falling through this month
due to funerals, but everyone we are teaching has a testimony, and
more than likely will be baptized. By August, I believe our membership
will be approaching 80 with our small beginnings of 12.

Things are good, and whoever is going there will enter the area in
good hands, and Elder Black is ready for whatever. Mission

I still have crazy stomach problems, but I'm healthy, happy, and going
to a dying land.

Speaking of that, basically I can go to 1 of 4 places. Broadhurst
Botswana, Pretoria East, Rustenburg, Polokwane. Make your lucky picks
I'll die a ZL in the wilderness unless I go to Pretoria.. We'll find
out in 3 hours.

Well the time is far spent, there is little remaining Hymn 266. But
Today Elder Kantu dies which leaves me with only two living
companions, Black and Brey, my posterity... what up...

So have a good week and we'll speak soon from a new far away land.

Much love,

Elder Robinson

Monday, February 27, 2012

Would ye not behold quickly?, I just wanna change, joyous reunion, transfer news?

Hello again my esteemed friends, Here is a dancing Lobster.

A great week in the land of Hammyskraal, and man we found some sweet freaking people. We started tracting a new area called Wrenstown and found a guy named Koti there. He has been to like 7 churches throughout his life and is so sick of them treating the people like customers. He told us about his wife and how he wants a united family and so :D we talked about the temple. He really like that and there is a guy staying with him from Essex in the UK and so Elder Black taught his first white person. He had a lot of questions about what the church is doing politically to solve the problems the world is facing. So we spoke about agency, the plan of salvation, accountability, etc. and all of a sudden he was like "Koti this sounds like a true church, when can you come again." He, Carl, is kinda agnostic because of the history of churches in Europe. So two investigators just waiting for the Restoration one house. When we went to see them they were still on the way, so we decided to knock a house It was almost dark and after dark, people think we are satanists so we were really hoping to get in. Family of 5. SO interested in the book of Mormon that they decided to bring all of their relatives and friends over tonight so we'll be teaching about 18 people tonight in their house all about the "3rd testament" I'm SO pumped for that.

This week I learned a cool lesson out of Alma 33:19-23 It speaks about the brazen serpent in the wilderness and how we as people just have to do something so simple. Look up, look to the savior. Alma says " O my brethren, if you could be healed by merely casting your eyes would ye not behold quickly?" This week our studies were focused on teaching people for understanding and just helping them realize what this can do for them. What did it result in? oh 63 people at church, so much so that we had to run to the neighbors and borrow chairs so people would have a place to sit, 10 people gaining testimonies this week, 25 on date for March 25th, and a legendary week of just living the dream.

Lloyd one of our newest investigators struggles a bit with addictions and his past, but just came to the church yesterday and said in class "I have wanted what these guys are teaching my whole life, I just have this feeling I can't deny, I need this." He gained his testimony the moment we taught him the restoration and has already begun the Book of Mormon. I love our investigators.

To be perfectly honest, my mission has been insane. constant change, constant struggle, constant just pleading for things to happen. But the truth is I have changed. I beheld, I looked up, and I've seen it. I used to be the guy who in a scriptural phrase "understood not the meaning of those things" and I cannot and will not let this go. Of the many blessings I have received I believe that has been the most influential. I know what I have, I know where I can go, and I know who can get me there. What else do you really need. I am probably leaving Hammanskraal next Tuesday and will disembark to my dying area. Which means y'all can play transfer news again. Every where I have been, every companion I have had, every challenge I have faced, is exactly what I needed. And while it has been so insane, I've loved every minute. You can't not love a mission, you can't not love this. If I could just help everyone understand that, the young men, the people who are kinda floating around, man I'd be so happy. But the truth is all you have to do is give it a shot, give it a try and you will know.

Enough soapbox. In other news, I had a joyous reunion with Elder Williams, who is my boy, and man its exciting haha. Elder Alder, Williams, and Robinson in the same zone conference, and soon to be the same complex. Awesome, need I say more.

So everyone, legend of a week. We're gonna play football, check out the Capital building, and make meatball subs today. start getting your lucky transfer news picks ready, perhaps a new clue to come next week of what may be happening.

Salani Kahle

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Law of Moses

Pretty good week. I love our investigators man. Lebogang made it to stake conference and was just like " I was scared thinking that in a big church I would just be like anyone else. But it was totally different. I just felt home. I need to be baptized I don't care what I have to do..." Just gotta wait til march haha.

Everything is sweet. and the reason I've chose the Law of Moses for this weeks subject line is this. In the old days of the mission the focus was baptize anybody who is keeping commitments, but the focus has shifted now to those who truly are converted and will leave it all behind. It's been a tough adjustment but that's what the church needs here in Africa. People who are committed to the growth of the church. I'm 100% on board for this new style. It's a little disappointing to postpone baptisms, but what's truly disappointing is people falling away. I've been lucky enough to have virtually all converts remain active, but it is a big problem of retention and this is the way its to be done.

It's been some work, but everyone we're truly teaching is either progressing, or in early stages and it just helps so much. I may not see all the fruit of my labor, but that's not what its about anyway. It's about building the church, so that is just what we'll do. I can honestly say I love our investigators and after a bit more time, teaching, and commitment, they will be powerful future leaders here in Hammanskraal.

We just have to get the big picture. I have been constantly growing and changing over the course of my mission and the methods have changed. But I know this is the Lord's work and I know we just need to jump on board and go with it. Words can't really paint the picture of what I have learned or felt, but I have no doubt this is where I need to be, this is what I need to do, this is how I need to live my life. I love South Africa, Ngi thanda Mzansi. I love my mission. To the field for quit possibly my final two weeks in Hammanskraal, time to plant the seeds.

Elder Robinson

Monday, February 13, 2012

AAD, It's time for that cheesy trumpet triumph music, zombie appocolypse soshanguve

I love psychology. man... Let me tell you a sweet experience that happened yesterday. So study time Elder Black and I were doing our usual study and for one reason or another, he still is not confident in talking with new people, and certain investigators. So using my sociology skills and other tactics picked up on mission, I picked apart his brain. I have a theory that all of our potential boils down to about 3 things. Attitude, Action, Desire. Let me elaborate. Our ultimate desire shapes and directs our action, and our desire usually defines our attitude, our actions are a product of our desire and attitude. So we've been struggling to get investigators to keep simple commitments like reading, coming to church etc. So this week I kinda thought to put this theory into practice and it worked time and time again.

Brian Shabangu. Self admitted drinker who is pretty miserable. Wanted us to come to have a prayer with him. Well, we found out what he wanted out of life, what he was doing, and his attitude, and well honestly one of the most powerful lessons I've ever had on prayer. He just got it. He told us he had never prayed and didn't know how. So we taught him and he poured out his whole soul. He later told us he was feeling something in his heart he had never felt before and that he felt he could finally move on with life.

Oscar. Just wants to do right, reads every day, comes to church, gonna get baptized.

Elder Black. Doubting himself a bit. Desire to be bold, in declaring his testimony, and to speak freely. Action. timidness. Attitude, self denial. So what happened. We had a good long talk and I spoke about the other variable. The Savior. The one who makes something of you when you can't do it yourself. What do you have to do? try your hardest. Ether 12:27 gives us the formula and the chapter gives us the outcome. It was a profound lesson on life. It was a profound experience, and as we can show our investigators what this can really do for them we will see miracles.

As you have pure desire, followed by a good attitude, followed by dilligent action, that is the moment when the Savior steps in and make everything possible. That's what he does to a 19 year old from Southern Utah who just had excitement and a go gettim attitude. I'm not perfect, but He's made something of me and He can make something of all of us if you just try. Such a testimony builder this week man so good.

In other news, things are looking good for the baptisms this month. Hopefully 5. and This sunday I was so looking forward to huge church attendance and.... drum roll please... Nothing. NOBODY. and your soul sinks into despair. I said a quick prayer and looked up, Issacs daughter a little 8 year old girl walked by herself because she loves primary. 30 seconds later Mary and her two daughters came, 30 seconds later BABALOO our 325 pound investigator rolls up in his Ford Pinto with 2 buddies, and 1 minute later we get a call from William. It was like that moment in a movie where you here this cheesy triumphant trumpet fanfare start to blow and you feel like running into the wind in this huge open meadow. It was so sweet.

So in other words, life is great haha. Love this place, had a sweet as blackberry pie week and learned a lot.

My dreams are still crazy, two highlights this week were pro-wrestling Dieter F. Uchtdorf, and Zombie apocalypse Soshanguve. I fought them off with a spatula and broadsword. Metal? I think so...

have a great week.

Monday, February 6, 2012

MALAWI, hi five, Andries, daily bread, shamboked, tossing him like a rag doll.‏

Agae papa?


Riteng wena ugae?

bololeo Setswana?

oh but of course.

Good week. it always is. I always feel like my weeks are only 3 days long. Monday email, Thursday planning, Church Sunday. I can't believe its February, and the weather is finally beginning to cool down a bit. I've reached a point where I have to shave twice a day to be missionary appropriate and my beard is thick like twine. Dad beardoff 2012 is so totally on. My skin is so used to the South African sun it's becoming like fine Italian leather and my feet have burst through the 4th pair of insoles and are currently working their way through the sole of my shoe. In fact, I can feel the texture of the ground. It is nice.

This week was pretty flippin sweet. On Thursday we dropped about 17 investigators and so we had a pretty empty day so we went tracting. Boom very first house Andries and Magdalene. Awesome as heck father led family that we spoke with for about 30 minutes just getting to know them. Andries deals with Diabetes so bad his joints stiffen up and he can't move sometimes but we had a prayer and he told us he knew we were men of God and he could trust us, that we're unlike anyone he's ever met. He's been pretty offended by his past experiences in churches, well more like businesses, and so the truth rang very quickly with him. We're gonna see them again wednesday. We then went about 4 more houses away and met a guy named James who's 72 and looking for the truth. and then the very next house a guy who knows the church from when he lived in Chicago playing basketball. The very next house was John from Malawi which is seriously like the most humble country on the planet. It was incredible. Issac and his Fiancee are doing great as well and made huge progress in the book of Mormon and even came to church.

The only bummer this week was Oscar and Maphula they have been talking about marriage and it seems as though they are breaking up. They blew up in front of us, but Oscar is ready to be baptized and isn't too phased. We'll see them tomorrow. Everything is pretty dang sweet now, even Pauline has finally decided to be baptized and bore her testimony in Tswana about how thankful she was for the church to just move next door and for God guiding her. In other words, dream job. Everything is stellar right now so all I wanna do is bulk up the area for Elder Black and a possible grandson of mine in 4 weeks I can only cross my fingers for more posterity.

I had a pretty cool experience this week in study. I've been struggling a bit with like consistent purposeful prayer and so I decided to do a little experiment. When I was a lad my step father E. Mhlalase did a study with me where I had to address a concern he personally had simply by asking questions. So I decided to do it with Elder Black because he wanted to improve on asking questions. So we commenced, very slowly, until he really started to listen for clues. Well he found the concern and it eventually reached this. He quoted from Kings where Elisha tells Namaan to wash 7 times in the river and where the servant says "if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing wouldst thou not have done it. How much rather wash and be clean" He said Elder Robinson you're willing to do great things but this is something so simple. "small and simple things" Alma 36 lept to mind. So in kinda a thought from the week. Sometimes we just try to do these huge things and set these huge goals as a big giant piece of meat that we need to butcher with a pocket knife. Instead, we need to break the big picture down into small delicious Costco samples. We can't let the simplest things slacken because if we do we'll never be great. So he kinda shamboked me indirectly but it worked haha and the change has already begun. Plus, he knows how to ask questions very well now. Hi five!

Speaking of Hi fives Elder Stewart and I hi fived so hard this week my skin began to peel in places, I felt the tingle in my funny bone, and people from a block away looked over. Awesome?

Last night we were pretty bored so we wrestled and I through Elder Black like a rag doll and it was nice, then we picked Elder Bangani up and had a sleepover in the kitchen with all of our mattresses so we could enjoy quick access to the brownies and lemon bars we made. The best 2 years indeed.

Well great week, but that's obvious. 1 month left in Hammyskraal who knows what's next.

anywho have a super macandovious week.

Elder Robinson

Monday, January 30, 2012

FIGS!, Lebogang, Maleka, Mpho, other awesomeness.

Good week man... good week. So early Monday morning we began our study because of the trip to the office. I finished the Book of Mormon for the 6th time on mission and prayed about it again. I've received answers of course before but sometimes God has some pretty cool stuff in store. The answer came Tuesday. 6, 7, and 8, were sweet as heck appointments. Brother Mpho who was baptized back in November hasn't been to church since his baptism because just that same week his brother committed suicide. Turns out his family has been persecuting him like crazy because he joined the church. So much so they burned his BOM, have called family meetings to convince him to go back, and kept him away from us and deleted our number. So we finally sat down with him and he told us all of this. Then quote of a lifetime " I prayed once to know that this was true and I got my answer, it was this 'never let this knowledge go to waste.' I REFUSE to do that. I don't care if I have to leave my entire family, home, job, everything and move to America with you or Zimbabwe with Elder Bangani. I WILL NEVER LEAVE THIS". We left, man that guy is powerful, to our next appointment. Lebogang had read from 1st Nephi to Mormon in 6 days. and " This book has changed me, I know its true, I am going to be baptized on the 26th of February". That was really nice, so then we went to our final lesson. The Malekas. It was your typical L1, just good, and they asked great questions. We reached the point of the 1st vision and I felt prompted to tell them to really listen with their hearts. So, after asking them "how do you feel about what we taught" the one daughter just lost it "This last year has been the hardest year of my life, and I've prayed every day for guidance and now God has finally answered me." You get answers to prayers when you're on your feet, and this was my answer. "This is true, he does answer prayers, I can never let this go" Church is true... Nuff said.

Honestly its just been a great week, everyone is reading, 8 made it to church, we're baptizing for sure this month, Diego, Spencer, Oscar, Babaloo, Nkosana, Issac, Lebogang, Maleka family, everyone is looking so good. We've weeded so much, but everyone we are teaching is progressing. Hard to believe its February in like a day. summer is drawing to a close and this is when the weather starts to cool down finally. the mangoes are ripe, the field is white, I love it.

Elder Robinson

Monday, January 23, 2012

Recognize, "I can be baptized even right now", ZIMBABWE!, mango season!, other good stuff‏

Man what the heck Nick and Kylee are getting married and I won't even be there! Congrats guys! get a cardboard cut out of me or something and I'll get you a gift when I get home.

In other news things are awesome in Hammanskraal. Diego, Tsepiso, Nkosana, Spencer, Oscar, William, and Rose all have their answers, have testimonies, and are preparing to be baptized. February is going to be a huge month for us, and our little house is literally bursting at the seams. We had to sit outside and just listen through the window. count 53. We seriously need to move but the school board is giving us problems. So... we wait....

We met a house of like 10 from Zimbabwe who all know the church and were so excited it is here so they are all going to come and more than likely be baptized. We are seriously just being led to people who are ready, willing, and committed. It's the depths of summer, its hot, but that means mangos! and that's pretty cool haha.

I'm a little frustrated with our teaching pool haha. Some people are just so great, but man do we have to sift to find people. 117 investigators in 5 weeks. how many on date 30... how many serious on date 17. eish. But each area has its own challenges and I guess this is Hammanskraals.

Kinda a cool thing happened this week. GM South Africa struck again. Flashing back to my Nelspruit days of my 6 months there, the car was in the shop for about 4. I haven't had any problems since then until this week. Our car literally sounds like a metal forge and as metal as that is, its not good. So knowing that it was the ball joints, we took it to GM. After 6 count em 6 hours we get a phone call. "it's your tires, not the bearings." Ok... so we go to Supaquick tm. just around the corner. 5 minutes there... It's your ball bearings have GM do it because they are still under warranty. So back to GM. we tell them what Supaquick said and... "ok... let us look" 2 hours later... "yep its the wheel bearings. But we don't have any, can you come back Tuesday?" ACH!!!!!! man haha such a waste of time. So yeah off to the area at 5PM. But then ohohoho such a good night. 1st lesson a guy who was offended by his pastor 2 years ago and believes no church is Christ's guess again hehehe. On date for 26 February. 2nd Lesson Issac and Lebogang a father led family that we met. They are new to Christianity so we taught a very basic Lesson 1 and put them on date. Huge freaking smiles "I can be baptized even right now... can we go to the river?" haha I love answering a question like that. 3rd Lesson David a cool guy with dreadlocks half way down his back also on date for February. 4th Oscar a sweet colored guy who will totally be baptized in February. It comes back to this...

When you just stay positive and don't blow things out of proportion however frustrating they may be, awesomeness happens. This week we focused our study a lot on the Spirit and we spoke a lot about recognizing it and remembering it. Just read Moroni 10 and consider how many times he uses the word remember. So what I've decided to do is count every time I saw a little miracle or some kind of guidance. 74 in 3 days. Are we led by the spirit? you betcha you just gotta recognize it and consider it. It was a really profound week.

Elder Black is awesome he's gonna be a great missionary and its good to be his companion. He has everything he needs just he's a little shy and lacking a bit in confidence so I think its good he got me "Mr. no inhibitions". Hopefully by the time I leave this place he'll be kicking down doors and confounding falsehoods just like his dad haha. Nah its great its really bringing me back to the basics of missionary work and its keeping me on my toes even though I'm getting old. I don't think I could have asked for a better situation than opening an area and training and being DL at the same time haha. awesome.

So yeah everything is good. I hope after these 6 weeks to go back to town and die close to Joburg I miss just the atmosphere Pretoria is to slow. But none of you know anything about that anyway haha. Great week looking forward to this one.

Elder Robinson

Monday, January 16, 2012

Babaloo!, February insanity, things to work on... Elder Black haha‏

Man sweet as heck week. transfer news next week... 99.99 percent sure I'm staying. But crazy how time goes. All is well in Hammanskraal. Due to some unforseen circumstances our baptisms will be pushed to next month. But William, Sylvester, Pauline, Karabo, Koketso, Diego, Babaloo, possibly Komelo family (5), Rose, Oscar, Maphula all have an awesome possibility of being baptized which would be quite a way to go out before I leave March 7th.

Honestly things are crazy. I love serving in town on mission because when you finally get an investigator, they progress, they are sweet, you love them, you work with them. In the township anyone and everyone wants to meet with you. So we sift like crazy. Like in 3 weeks we have had 73 new investigators and we extend baptismal dates the very first lesson. and... drum roll... 22 on date. because 51 of them were not serious. That's what happens some time... so its a little frustrating, but I love it and everyone who is on date is progressing and honestly in a few weeks/ months I have high hopes at least 75% will be baptized. I may not be around to see it, but that doesn't really matter as long as they receive the blessings and the branch grows.

I think in Hammanskraal, like opening any area, you see success, maybe not as much as you would like because its a ton of finding and building. But you can look back on it and smile. That's kinda my attitude for the next 6 weeks here. Just break myself down finding people who are prepared whether or not I see the fruits, because well... I know what's more important. The Lord has blessed me with so much over the past 18 months that I just wanna waste myself out and go home on a stretcher. Not only will I go out in a blaze of glory, but I won't be trunky either... something I refuse to let happen.

It's nice to work with Elder Black, because he just has fire and wants to learn. Every day is an adventure. He's still a little shy tracting but he is a teaching machine now and I'm instilling a love of the scriptures and doctrines in his heart. something papa Nelson did for me. It's kinda funny because when we refer to him, or other missionaries that have had an impact on me its like... "grandpa taught me this" Or your step grandfather taught me this" or "your great uncle did this once" Its funny man mission life is the best. Just the little day to day things, the inside jokes, the randomness and culture of it you just can't experience it unless you go yourself. No one will experience your mission but you and its pretty sweet just every day little miracles, shamboking pastors who think you are false proselytes, just turning to a scripture that is perfect and you didn't even plan on it, being led to a 350 pound guy named Babaloo who is prepared with a capitol P.... all in a days work...

Well, typical week, nothing too exciting... but a good one.

Elder Robinson

Monday, January 9, 2012

Everything you need, not what you expect.

Very interesting week. We've been doing a lot of groundwork lately... a lot of finding, lesson 1's, extending dates, and sifting. this week, we did a lot more teaching. We accomplished quite a bit and some people are looking really good for February. Like the Komelo family, Sylvester, Russell, Rose, Moshidi family, and others. On the other hand we really realized just how not serious some people are haha!

"So if I come to your church and get baptized it means I have to leave my church? Like I can't just get baptized so its done by the authority and then go back to mine?"

"Well I think we need to pray to the Holy Spirit because he's the one who answers us... not God..."

"The Book of Mormon is kinda like a commentary on the Bible. I don't need to read it. That's what my pastor said"

"I know my church isn't true, but your music is so boring"

These are the kinda questions we dealt with this week and Elder Black said something profound that I was just waiting for him to learn on his own haha. "man some people are so dumb... how could you think that?" Man that's mah boy! He is a good guy. He's a little timid, a little shy. But he's really catching the fire now. I just get to sit back and watch sometimes. He's just loaded with fire and testimony and is starting to be more bold with people. It's awesome. I'm just waiting for him to shut down a falsehood and then I'm buying pizza haha!

So yeah... good week in many ways... a little disappointing with some investigators... But I think yesterday summed up our whole week. Planning on about 10 at church and 0 of them came. What we did get was a former investigator who came back, a couple we contacted the night before, and some people who just popped in because they saw us reading the Bible. You could say we got nothing that we expected, but everything that we needed. A little discouraged looking back over the week and thinking "why didn't they come?" but as we kept a positive attitude, worked, and just smiled. The night was awesome. Sister Pauline has decided to be baptized. If not this month then February for sure. Which means her grandkids will follow. Sister Olga has 5 friends for us to teach, the Komelo's GOT lesson 1... like they GOT it and are pumped about the Book of Mormon. We tracted into a family who got a Book of Mormon 6 years ago but had no idea what it was. and now... they are reading it like crazy.

So what's the moral of the story? If you simply try your best, are obedient, and just smile even if your house smells like eggs and cheese, no one came to church, and your neck is sunburned from playing volleyball. Everything that you need will happen. Crap happens, but what do you do with it when it comes? See Mission teaches you to smile all the time, because if you don't you'll be miserable haha. So in the words of Joseph B. Wirthlin... come what may and love it.

Have a stellar week
Elder Robinson

Monday, January 2, 2012

NEW INVESTIGATORS!, "hanging up the skirt", lookin forward, lookin back, Elder Robinson V. Church of Christ head Pastor‏

So trying to think of what to say about this week. Nothing super amazing happened. but we found a lot of new people... 33 to be exact and we'll see this week if they amount to anything after a follow up lesson. One cool thing though was the Nkuna family. we've been trying to teach them literally for 3 months but the appointments are always too short or get cancelled for one reason or another. So finally... we taught them. And sister Nkuna was like eating up the restoration she was asking for books, videos, info, everything and she just told us how right it felt. we'll see them tomorrow :D

Wednesday we had a cool experience. We went to go see our investigator Katlego and lo and behold. not one... but 2 pastors. One is the head of Church of Christ Hammanskraal and the other one is the head over all of Soshanguve. So... it was on... haha they tried to bash so at first I picked them apart saying contention is of the devil. then they tried to disprove the book of Mormon and say we need no new scripture... so I picked that apart with good old John and with like 5 references made by prophets about books not contained in the Bible and good ol' Ezekiel 37. So I invited them to be baptized and pray about the Book of Mormon which they said no to. So they tried to contend our doctrine but in every point we were clear. So I invited them again to be baptized and they said "So what you're saying is this... If we follow the Bible word for word, and don't read the Book of Mormon, we are lost." Elder Robinson:"Yep... you got it". So then silence. Elder Robinson: "If you followed the Bible word for word you'd be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints." Silence. Can we close with a prayer? Man it felt good haha. If you wanna gain a testimony... defend the church in front of pastors.

So looking back on the last year I've had a lot of legendary experiences. Too many to count or mention but looking back and looking ahead to 2012 maybe I can share one. Nelspruit was the refiners fire at first and a few weeks after arriving, I loved my companion, I loved the members, but man I was discouraged. I'll never forget one night just asking what am I supposed to learn here. Then this prompting came. "keep a smile on your face, go to work." I believe still that was one of if not the most profound promptings of my mission. It changed everything and has made it the best 18 months. Gordon B. Hinckley had a similar experience and advice from his father "forget yourself and go to work." The Savior said it best "He that loseth his life shall find it, he that keepeth his life shall lose it" Going in to this new year and my final 6 months I'd just like to say. Enjoy it... if 2011 sucked guess what its gone. Live what you've got now. I've got 6 months left of the opportunity of a lifetime and in the words of Elder Holland "the opportunity must be taken in the lifetime of the opportunity." Don't look back, just go for it... That's my plan.

Happy New Year and have a legendary week

Elder Robinson