Tuesday, July 29, 2014

2014 July 16th letter home with experiences Chelsie wanted to share

Yesterday we had 2 huge miracles happen that I thought I would tell you now in case I forget by Monday. Sister Leeks was out of town and her dog-sitter trashed the house and abandoned the cats and dogs upstairs for two days so she called us to go save them. Let me tell you --that was the messiest, dog-poop filled house. We put the dogs in the yard for a few hours and we came back and Shiloh, the mini schnauzer, had escaped! I felt really terrible about losing her dog all night. We said lots of prayers and yesterday we found him safe and sound at the animal shelter! God definitely answered our prayers. I was so relieved when we found Shiloh!

A second miracle happened during our dinner hour. Our appointment fell through so we were eating at home when our doorbell rang. There was a mom holding a wine bottle looking for a corkscrew. She said she doesn't know why she wanted to drink it cause she normally doesn't --well God did it so she would come over and find us. We ended up teacher her about the restoration on our door step and gave her a pamphlet and a Book of Mormon. She wants to know more and wants us to meet her family too. The cool thing is that we are not allowed to know in our own apartments so she came to us. Pretty incredible. God makes it so those who are prepared and willing bump paths with us. Happens every day almost.

Sometimes the same people again and again that we met once and are trying to get a hold of, for example, we go to a farmers market every Thursday to find people and a lady named Kara found us! We have been trying to meet with her all week and nothing has happened yet. Yesterday I accidentally drove down the wrong road downtown and I saw her walking and I waved her down and pulled over and talked for a minute. Stuff happens like this all the time as a missionary and that's because this church is true and God is using us as tools to find people. It is not just an ironic series of coincidences at all. It is most definitely on purpose. Thought you would enjoy those stories. :-)

Monday, July 28, 2014

2014 TONS of PICTURES from Burlington, Iowa and Nauvoo, Illinois

Hiking on our P-day with the Irvines last week.
On P-day last week....did I say I love bikes?!? Yay!
The garden I helped grow and weed the last 4 months at Caroline's ranch, Burlington, Iowa.

A funny carrot that I pulled out of the ground that looks like Barbie legs.
Jojo's grumpy face while we pulled those weeds in the garden.
The Mount Pleasant church building surrounded by tall corn fields. White, already to harvest!
The Fort Madison bridge at sunset on the drive to the Nauvoo Pageant last Friday.
Ok, going left to right:  Hermana Jacobson, Hermana Te'o, Elder Moyle, Elder Gunter, Elder & Sister Robison, ME and Sister Boone.

Funny pictures of Nita and her daughter, Ana, at the pageant.



Sister Boone was making a really funny serious backing-the-cart face. She got to push.
Me and my BEST FRIEND EVER!!!! Hilary Gentry at the Nauvoo Pageant.
Hilary Gentry being silly at the pageant.
The Thola family pulling the handcart at the country fair in Nauvoo, Illinois.
Me and all the missionaries on the stage of the new British Pageant. It's at the end and we're singing "Called to Serve." (I am on the right side with the dark shirt and light skirt)
The point in the show when we were all transfigured on stage!! .....lol, just kidding.

A picture from the pageant stage of the Nauvoo Temple.

2014 July 28 last letter from Burlington, Iowa area

Got a phone call from President Jensen over an hour ago.  He said "sister Robertson, Start packing up all your worldly possessions! Sister Boone you'll be training a new sister in Burlington North area."  And the packing and saying goodbyes begins the next three days.  Transfer meeting is in Iowa City, Iowa on Thursday morning.  I am really excited to see what God has in store for me in my next area but I will always miss Burlington and all the people I served with and got the chance to become friends with.  I will miss them SO MUCH!

I was so blessed this past week.  We were able to go to the Nauvoo Pageant and British Pageants over 4 times, all of which Sister Gentry was able to get a bunch of people we knew over there to watch it.  Including the Nita and her two daughters, Zeke (all multiple times!) and we drove down with the Thola family too (a part member family we are teaching).  We also had the chance this past Saturday to attend the temple. 

I will most likely be transferred away from the Mississippi  and Nauvoo.  I was so blessed to get to serve in this SACRED ground.   I hope I don't go too far away!  Everyday we experience so many miracles.  It blows my mind how actively involved God is with His missionaries down to the subtle details and with all of those who covenant with Him and serve him with all their might, mind and strength.  You will learn to recognize the little things, by actually DOING the little things that God asks you to do.  You do a little, He gives you a even more back. 

I should have more to write, but I have been so scatter brained and SO TIRED!!!! Especially with driving to and from Pageant all last week and worrying about transfers.  I will let you know where I go as soon as next Monday.  Thanks for all your prayers.  I have definitely felt the help and received the strength I needed.

one thing that is great!  I completely got through 6.5 months in Burlington without giving a talk in Sacrament meeting!  woo hoo!  But I'm probably going to get it when I get to my new area.
 
love,
Sister Robertson

2014 July 21 Pictures from Burlington, Iowa --and Nauvoo, Illinois

A funny mushroom growing on a tree in Burlington, Iowa
Did I ever tell you that I love deer?!? I love drawing them and watching them and even sewing them.

These deer and the babies are all in Crapo Park in Burlington, Iowa.




Me on a bike! really!! It is also at Crapo Park, Burlington, Iowa

A panorama shot Sister Boone took of me biking at Crapo Park next to the Mississippi River. My favorite picture! I am on the far right side of the photo.

2014 July 21 letter from Burlington, Iowa

***Transfers are next week so if you mail me anything between now and then please send it to the mission home address just in case I do get transferred so I can get my mail, thanks!
1815 Douglas Avenue Suite #19
Urbandale, IOWA
50322

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This past week has been so exhausting and so busy that both me and Sister Boone crashed during our study break on Sunday cause we could barely stay awake anymore.  Surprise, this week is going to be a LOT WORSE cause we have plans to go to pageant with people almost everyday this week, but it is going to be so good!

Even just helped Sister Irvine invite someone to church and the Pageant that she sold a piece of furniture too earlier this afternoon.  The work is definitely hastening and if you think life is boring and nothing is happening it's because you're hiding in your hole and you should go out and DO SOMETHING!

We were down in Nauvoo doing missionary work until pageant started and I started talking to this really young couple from BYU Provo.  Soon found out that the girl grew up in the Cedar Park ward in Austin, Texas right near where my parents live still today.  Her name is Laura VanWagonen (not sure of spelling).  I'm pretty sure that my parents knew her, but we were too little at the time to know each other. 

Sister Boone has around 200 cousins all over the country so we have run into atleast a half dozen or so in Nauvoo that are just visiting or working in the show.  They're all over the place!  Sure makes Sister Boone happy.

We had lots of miracles this past week including finding a lost dog, teaching a lady that knocked on our own apartment door and meeting lots of new people.  Been spending way too much time driving back and forth everywhere.  That's what missionary work is like when your area is HUGE and there are so many people to keep track of, not including the 65 mile round trip to Nauvoo most nights.

Sister Boone just found out on her email that Lyndsey, a return missionary as of 2 weeks ago who was working with us here in Burlington with some investigators, is now her sisters roommate at BYU Idaho just a few days after she left!  The world is full of crazy connections, especially within the church.  Things aren't coincidence and happen for a reason.

the Irvine's, our member neighbors, took us to a big park down by the river and we just spent the last 3 or 4 hours hiking and biking.  I was in HEAVEN!  They bought more bikes so we could go with them.  Such nice people.  i really miss biking and that was the first time I had biked since before my mission.  Kind of weird hearing that missionaries don't bike, huh?  We're really busy all day long everyday, but we're actually pretty lazy and eat too much.

This week is going to be really busy with lots of good things happening.  I will let you know how it goes next Monday!  Hope you enjoy all the pictures.
love
Sister Robertson

2014 July 14 Pictures from Burlington, Iowa --and Nauvoo, Illinois

Sister Robertson and Sister Boone at the Nauvoo Pageant
A gathering of missionaries at the Nauvoo Pageant


The Hannibal Branch Young Women --from my last area--with their leader, Sister Stratton at the Nauvoo Pageant! It was so good to see them. They missed me!

2014 July 14 letter from Burlington, Iowa--and Nauvoo

This past week has been really busy, but really good. 
We got another investigator named Kimmie.  She is a 15 year old BFF of a member of the ward and she says, "i really want to be Mormon."  Wow,  that's exactly what missionaries LOVE to hear!  We're going to start teaching her soon.

We also were able to go work at the Nauvoo pageant twice this past week.  Wednesday we stayed for the whole show and the missionaries get free concession stand food for dinner (awesome!).  As full-time missionaries we got to line up on the sides of the audience and line up and walk on stage singing called to serve really loud holding a Book of Mormon.  It was such a memorable experience that I will never forget.  When we started marching through the audience people started hooting and cheering and clapping so much louder for the missionaries!  One of Sister Boone's neighbors back home in Ycon, Idaho got a good picture of us on stage, but we are currently waiting to get that picture.  Might take a while.

At Pageant, proselyting missionaries from the Iowa Des Moines Mission who live an hour or less drive away from Nauvoo get to work the pageant grounds and do missionary work from 6 until 8:30 when the pageant starts.  We hand out fliers, pamphlets and talk to as many people as possible and hopefully get referrals.
 
Saturday's pageant show had a really bad thunderstorm move through and cancel the show.  The thunder and lightning and rain were pretty intense and the sky was pitch black before the sun even set.  Elder Bankhead and Elder Aston had brought 2 investigators who were sorely disappointed when it was cancelled but hopefully we'll get them back out there this Thursday.  We'll see.

Zeke, our recent convert, has been doing very well.  She decided to take a leap of faith and pay her tithing with 10 out of the 15 dollars she had left for food last month and she immediately was able to find a new apartment that was literally half the price and they will hire her as a security worker a few hours a month for extra 50 dollars!  She also has a lot of other huge financial blessings coming her way too.  JUST BECAUSE SHE PAID 10 DOLLARS.  pay your tithing, you can't afford to NOT PAY IT.  Zeke has also been receiving a lot of personal revelation from the Spirit and it's really cool to see just how happy and excited she gets to tell everyone at church about it.  I love that lady.  She says that she is my "other mother."  Sister Woodbury has been writing a lot to her as well since she left.
Zeke keeps having to hug me in lieu of Sister Woodbury.  haha, cute!

One of the Elder's investigators, Brett, (we passed him over to the Elders recently) who  is engaged to be married to a member of the ward, finally came to church yesterday with her family.  It just happens that his best friend from growing up, Elder Miller serving in the family history center in Nauvoo, was there giving a talk on the importance of being sealed forever in the temple and why the heck would anyone want "'till death do we part."  It was such a perfect setup for sacrament meeting.  Couldn't have been better.

Me and Sister Boone have been working with a lot of people and staying really busy with Pageant going on.  We spend a lot of time away from Burlington which makes it even more busy when we are there.  We are finally getting over the initial new companion awkwardness and starting to become better friends.  She is one of the most obedient, driven and hard working sister missionaries I have met.She leaves her mission at the end of October, so Burlington is her last area, then she is going back to BUY-Idaho for school.

Fill you in next week! A lot is going on.  By the time I email I can't remember half of what happens out here, but i remember that good stuff happened and that's what is important.  Thanks for reading :)

Love you!
Sister Robertson

2014 July 8th Photos


Fourth of July outside of our apartment at Sunset.
The Nauvoo Temple view from the pageant hillside.

The hay barn in Nauvoo

A Nauvoo carriage ride

At the Ward Fourth of July party at the church. Me, Charity (a member) and my companion Sister Boone.
Sister Boone and Sister Robertson
Alley our investigator's Fourth of July wedding at the park.

Pictures of the sandbags by the Mississippi River to help combat the flooding.




July 8th letter from Burlington, Iowa and the Nauvoo Pageant

We spent all of Monday down in Nauvoo being trained to be site missionaries for the Pageant that starts tonight.  They are doing two pageants this year, the traditional one and a British pageant story.  We found out yesterday that we are going to be on stage for the final songs at the end of the British Pageant every Wednesday night, including tomorrow!  All the missionaries are really excited about this, but I'd rather hide then be standing in front of a gazillion people I don't know singing a song and smiling.  Those are 3 things I don't like to do, but I'll be up there regardless!  yay!

We're going to be spending a lot of time on the road driving back and forth between Burlington and Nauvoo this month.  We are allowed to take new converts, less actives and any investigators to the pageant even on the nights we aren't already down there working.  July is going to be a bit crazy.  I'll let you know if I make it to August and then I might be packing up and driving to transfer meeting in Iowa City.  By August I'll have been in Burlington 6 months and for sisters that's where they usually cap you off at, plus sister Boone has to have a transfer or two to train a new sister here in Burlington before she goes home from the mission in October. 
 
Had a fun fourth of July walking around all sorts of street farmer markets and craft show street fairs and parades handing out pass along cards and Nauvoo Pageant fliers.  Met lots of people and had a lot of fun.   We go to a farmer market every Thursday in Burlington and there is a lady named Lyndsey who has alpacas and makes yarn out of the wool and sells them.  She has a strong testimony of God.  The sister missionaries in Macomb, Illinois are teaching her now and one day when I'm not on my mission we talked about being etsy.com seller buddies.  We meet some of the coolest people with some of the most random, non-coincidental, happenstances.  When you're a missionary this happens all the time and it is really special.  God is preparing people and bringing them in the path of His missionaries.

Still working with a lot of people, no baptism dates for July yet, but we have a few we are trying to work with and help.  A bunch of them are out of town on summer road trips.

The Mississippi river is also super flooded. a lot of roads are closed along the river, but most of Burlington is up a lot higher than the river so we're ok. We just have to drive the long way around the river to get to Nauvoo now.  
 
To all my family:  I am SO sad i will miss all the family reunions this summer. I will miss you all a lot and I'll be up there next summer with lots of stories to tell :)

love
Sister Robertson

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

2014 June 30 Pictures from Burlington, Iowa

This is a pony I sewed for Sister Boone. I was lying in my bed and where she put it on her shelf looked like her picture of Jesus was reaching up to pet the pony and I had to take a picture.

Driving towards the Nauvoo Temple

These 3 pictures of of us Missionaries working at the Nauvoo Dig site. We are looking for pioneer artifacts in the soil. We are literally digging in the dirt. 
Did I mention that it's hot in Iowa now??



At our transfer meeting in June: Sister Kissner (my former companion from Idaho), Sister Boone (my new companion from Idaho), and me.

30 June 2014 letter

The last week since transfer meeting has been extra super busy in Burlington.  We have so many investigators we are teaching and encouraging and less actives we are helping to re-activate that I can hardly keep track of them all.  The ward is growing and blossoming so much that it has become a lot more social since I got here in February.  It's really cool to visually see at church, Sunday, what affect we've had on the ward.  Our meeting house in Burlington is actually considered a Stake center in size so one day when Burlington becomes a stake they can fit all the wards in the one building.  Really cool to think about.  I hope it grows large enough to split in the next few years, but it will take some work.

Last Thursday us and the Zone Leaders got to drive down to Nauvoo and be a part of the Nauvoo Dig for a few hours in the afternoon.  If you don't know about this, it's something that Nauvoo hosts every June, for a month where people travel in and help dig up artifacts and old houses from the 1800s.  It was neat, but we literally sifted through cups of dirt for 4 hours and it was really hot.  "It's a cup, with dirt in it!" (Brian Reagan quote, lol). 

Next Monday we get to spend our whole P-day in Nauvoo being trained for being site missionaries for the Pageant starting on July 8th and taking a tour of Nauvoo after with all the missionaries in our Zone (3 districts).  It will be a really busy day and we leave at 8 and will get back at 5 or 6pm, so I won't be on email at my usual time. 

Brandi surprised us and came to church yesterday!  It was so good to see her there.  We are staying very busy teaching a bunch of people, but we don't have any baptismal dates with any of them yet for a wide variety of reasons, but I will let you know when we do and who they are!  I don't think it's possible for me to list them all right now cause I couldn't remember.  Got in contact with the Cavazos family again finally!  I missed them so much!  It had been a few months since we had a lesson with them and I hope that we can start again soon.   Lots of miracles and blessings.

We had exchanges with the sister missionaries in Keokuk last Thursday and Friday.  We had to drive all the way there and back because they ran out of miles for the month.  I pretty much planned out all the lessons/appointments for both companionships for both days and after it was over they all said that what I had chosen and the times for meeting people was completely miraculous and inspired.  It was definitely a nice compliment!  So I think I'm doing just fine :)


Thanks for all your prayers!  They are paying off and I am being way blessed as a servant of the Lord.
I love you all and do not give up on God.  "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thy own understanding"  (proverbs 3).
 
Stop being dumb and trying to figure life out by yourself because it NEVER works.  God can give you the strength and power you need to overcome PERMANENTLY the things you face and only by the power of God can you do this.  There is NO other way.  God loves you!  Satan doesn't.... keep it simple.

love,
Sister Robertson