Me and my companion, Sister Despain, are starting to get to know Hannibal a little bit better now. The members are very few, but they are very nice and generous people. We get fed by some of the same members every week since there aren't enough members. So my companion's name is Kelsey, so we are Kelsey and Chelsie. So funny! We get along really well, work hard and we are having fun too.
There was a famous street market/folk festival on Saturday where we looked around and met people. It is down by the River (Mississippi River). THere are so many mormon-haters hre and within 1 mile there are at least 6-10 Catholic, Christian, or Baptist churches. They are verywhere and they do not like us. Lots of doors shut on us and people will ignore us and walk away once we tell them who we are. Seems impossible to get past the judgemental, stubborness, and stereotyping of mormons here. I found an applicable scripture this week:
"And thus, even as I have said,
if ye are faithful ye shall
assemble yourselves together to
rejoice upon the land of Missouri,
which is the Land of your inheritance,
which is now the Land of your enemies."
Ha Ha. Kind of a funny scripture, but it's not far from the truth at all. Pretty sad. We do have a progressing investigator and she picked a baptism date in December. Her name is Katia. She is 18 and she is from Moscow, Russia. She is such a sweetheart and we love her. She was sort of adopted by a wonderful family of eleven kids in our ward, called the Voelkals.
Other than Katia, we are searching for new potentials and meeting less active members. Most of the ward isn't active, so it's a small, poorly attended Branch. There is a lot of work that needs to be done here to re-activate and build the Branch back up. We spend all week trying to find and teach all the less actives and it's not been easy, but many of them are still wonderful people, just busy or have health problems or in part-member families. It's been fun getting to know everyone and I know God will help us to help them. We are going to help a less active member quit smoking this week. We're excited for her 'cause she wants to change so she's not embarrassed to go to church anymore. We will do what we can to help her and serve others this week.
Favorite Scripture this week is D&C 103:27-28. It's so good! Look it up and read it for yourself. THe scriptures are real and true and you need to find out for yourselves if you don't know already. If changes your life 'cause you will know what life is all about and give you hope. I promise. If you don't know yet, have Faith and keep trying till you know. With God, Faith, & Works anything is possible.
I love you and miss you all!
P.S. Awkward mission moment: Got asked for my name and number by a creeper dude last week and had to hide by my companion for a while. Creepy! Being a girl missionary is so hard! And scary sometimes!
I got to Des Moines, Iowa ok last Wednesday and then the next day we had
our first transfer meeting in Iowa City and I met my new companion, Sister
Despain from Gilbert, Arizona (been on her mission for 4 months now, and we got
sent to a new area called Hannibal Missouri. There is a branch there with
mostly less Active members, so we are focusing on re-activating people for the
first little while and getting to know everyone. We have a car, GPS and a brand
new cell phone, so we are surviving well even though we have no idea where we
are at most of the time. the Hannibal branch is in the Nauvoo Stake and we had
Stake conference Saturday night in the Church building across the street from
the Nauvoo temple. It was really dark already so I couldn't really see the rest
of the town or area very well. We went to a custard place called Annie's and
had lemon custard with Raspberry sauce on it. It was AMAZING. Hope I can get
to go there during the day sometime so I can actually see it. It is right next
to the Mississippi River and so is Hannibal. Hannibal is the town Mark Twain
wrote Huckleberry fin about and the Caves in the book are here in town
somewhere, but I heard that they are really expensive to go into, so I might not
get to. We have met several really nice people in the branch and we have a set
of elders, Elder Ashworth and Elder Younger. They are really hard working and
nice elders to work with.
We are living in an apartment that belonged to elders for more than a
decade, so it's kind of dirty and run down. We have been doing our best to
clean it up.
My new address is for my apartment in Hannibal for the next several months
is, if you send it there it will only take 3 days to get to me instead of a few
weeks I think. Also the mission home asked that if you send missionaries any
packages to the mission home in Des Moines or my house that you send it Priority
mail only. I don't know the reason, but priority only please :) I can't wait
to have more to say to everyone. I am in good health and doing ok. Thanks for
the emails and letters and prayers!
Dear Family and Friends, I am leaving the MTC Wednesday morning. I am sad to leave the MTC. It has been such a wonderful place to be. I have grown close to my companions, district, zone and especially my teachers. They have strengthened my testimony and purpose for choosing to be a missionary. We talk to an Elder, well, returned missionary from Iowa and he told us there are over 300 missionaries in Iowa and it is now, statistically, it has the highest baptizing rate out of all the states right now. There are almost 30 of us, sisters and elders, flying to Iowa together. We are sad to leave Provo and leave each other, but are ready and pumped to be in Iowa and experience teaching the Gospel and finding people. Regardless of age or experiences, there are some amazing missionaries here.
It was cool to listen to Conference and sing "Called to Serve" at the MTC. They sing it like no other place on Earth. Bows my mind that I am here and can be a part of restoring this Gospel by spreading it to the world. My companions met an Elder Campbell and Elder Ramen. So funny. They called their companionship "Soup Elders." We said goodby to one of our teachers today, sad day! He gave us amazing advice today. He said, "we can always become a sharper pencil, but we can never be the writer, cause God is the writer ...You can never this this alone...if you think you have figured it out, that is the moment that you have eliminated God from the equation." That is no different for all of you as it is for missionaries. Without God we are lost. If you don't know if God listens to your prayers refer to D&C 98:1-3:
1 Verily I say unto you my friends, afear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give bthanks;
patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of
the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament—the
Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted.
he giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they
shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith you have been aafflicted shall work together for your bgood, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord.
Once you've done everything you possibly can to obey God's commandments and align your life with God's will, I know he will bless you because is bound to fulfill all his promises to you, but in His own time line. Never be ashamed of who you are and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Cool story, we were taught some lessons from the Elders in the showed called "The Districtg." I only remember one of their names, Elder Christianson. Kind of neat.
This Gospel is a gospel of action. If you have real faith, act on it. If you know Christ atoned for your sins, Act on it. Try to find ways to act on your faith everyday. Without faith we cannot progress and without out faith; that is impossible. I've never been a true example of this principle. Spent so much time lazy and unwilling and all it does is cause unhappiness and a life without purpose. I am trying my best now and I see the blessings we can all receive by taking action. Your perspective of taking action will change greatly by simply taking action. Hard to explain it. Exercise faith and get to work and know for yourself how it can change your life.
I miss and love all of you so much. I pray for everyone and definitely feel that someone has been praying for me. I have seen the affects of that since I left and they help me greatly. Can't wait to tell you all about how awesome Iowa is.
Finally have my first P-day
here at the Provo, MTC. It's so weird to be in my home in Provo, but not able
to be a part of it. But I am glad that I chose to experience being here. I am
slowly adjusting to this busy schedule. I am in class from the time I wake up
until I go to bed. It is stressful, but all the classes are so well prepared
and teach us amazing things. The Spirit is so strong here and our district of
Des Moines Iowa sisters and elders are getting along so well and we are all
having fun and learning a lot. Me and my companions are getting along well and
are able to teach our mock investigators so well together. Hard to get enough
sleep at night. Feels like I am only asleep for an hour by the time my alarm is
going off the next morning. It's so sad! But somehow I am finding the energy I
need everyday to focus and get things done.
My district did a temple session
this morning at the Provo temple. It was a good start to the day. The temple
is really good at removing us from every day stresses and helping us look at
life and existence with a greater perspective. Helps me to focus on what is
really important. I am blessed to have the opportunity to be here and do what
the Lord wants us to do and not have to worry about every day life. I really
get to focus on the scriptures and how to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ free
from distractions. I am enjoying the fall weather here in Utah.
mountains just got capped with snow yesterday and the fall colors are super
pretty. It is getting colder, but I like it. My whole district and zone, 28
sisters and elders will be flying on the same plane together to Des Moines, Iowa
next Tuesday morning around 4am. It will be fun to travel with all of them. I
can't wait to watch conference while I am at the MTC. I am guessing that it
will be a great experience. Not because It is any different than before I was a
missionary, just that the Spirit is so strong here and we are all able to focus
a lot easier on what is being said.
They feed us way too much here, I have 3
meals a day, 4 hours apart, ALL YOU CAN EAT and not enough exercise time to burn
it off. You ever wonder why people gain weight here? I see so many elders with
4 or 5 different plates of food at every meal. Yikes. I know that the church
is true and that the Book of Mormon is the TRUE WORD OF GOD given to us to be a
second witness of the existence of JESUS CHRIST on this Earth. He was here, he
taught us and gave us instruction and scripture and Atoned for all our sins. I
know that God will always be there for us if we are willing enough to accept him
into our lives. I had a testimony of all these things before I came here, but
It is growing every day. The things you learn and experience here, you can't
learn any other place on earth and in the same way. God has done so much for me
and my life in this last year and I am full-heartedly ready to pay it forward
and be there for my brothers and sisters in Iowa. I want to pull them out of
darkness and bring them the light of Christ. I want them to know how it feels
to know what I know and know that God loves them.
Mom, i can't think of anything else that needs to go into my bedding box.
You can go ahead and ship it now so it's there on Tuesday. Thank you! Can't
wait to see Iowa :)
I have been so scared and nervous today. Me and Kendall cried when she dropped me off at the MTC. Everyone here is so super duper nice and welcoming, so the edginess is slowly wearing off. Might take a few days. There is such calm, peace here and you feel the spirit strongly everywhere. I love my two, yes two!, companions. They are such nice, sweet and adorable girls. I love them already. I know we can be good friends here. Makes it feel more like home. We share our bedroom with 2 other girls and they are super nice too. I attach easily to following friends around, so I'm ok with having companions 24/7, it's so comforting and feels almost natural to me. We had some great classes today and met with our district, both elders and sisters. We have our own little classroom we meet in all day. They only give us 15 minutes to shower in the morning, that's impossible! We're girls with needs! We all agreed to wake up at 6 am so we have enough time. Yikes! I enjoy the business. It has been too long since I was truly busy and working hard. it almost gives me energy, but wears me out all at the same time. I'm so happy it's bedtime in 2 minutes. I deserve it!
Day 3, Friday
Starting to relax a little and handle the demanding schedule better. Learning to have as lot of confidence in myself and my testimony to teach mock lessons with my companions and mock investigators. Still makes me nervous, but I know I'm getting help and being strengthened. Sometimes I don't even understand how I am coping with all this change and trials, but I am. I cannot explain it any other way except that God is letting me know that this is where I needed to be and now that I am here and trying my best he is blessing me to be strong emotionally. I miss my best friends, and my family too, so much already. Today I learned that fear cannot equal faith and it reminded me of a scripture in Micah 7:8: "Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: When I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me."
I hope everyone is able to find the light shining in your dark places and know that you are not alone.
Thanks for all your love and letters! <3
Miss you all,
<3 Sister Robertson
P.S. I don't have some of my best friends mail addresses --you know who you are--and I'm sad cause I can't send you a letter! Please snail mail me your address! Or if you want me to get it the same day (yay!!) you can send me a message through DearElder.com website. I suggest using it.
Also, I cannot check my lds e-mail until Thursday --just so you know!