Monday, August 25, 2014

2014 Aug 25 photos from Dubuque, Iowa

Sheila got baptized! Sister Randall had been teaching her before I was assigned to Dubuque. A lot of people came to support her.
Sister Randall, Sheila, and Sister Robertson at Sheila's baptism this past Friday.

I got my haircut last week. My companion cut off 7-8 inches. It was too long and giving me headaches.

The Ward Relief Society put on a fair/carnival for this month's activity. There was food (and of course, corn on a stick) along with game stations where you could win prizes. 

They could also win ribbons for all their homemade or home sewn projects they brought to display.
Sister Chelsie Robertson get to try her hand at making cotton candy at the Relief Society Carnival. Yum!
Sister Randall, Elder Ackley and Elder Leviticus (Marshallese missionaries) on our trip to stake conference.
Along the Mississippi River on the way back from Davenport Stake Conference on Sunday. It is an hour and a half drive from Dubuque and very scenic. 

This is along the scenic hills on our drive to and from Davenport for stake conference.
These are the rolling corn fields near the neighborhood where we live.

Our mission car we drive in Dubuque, Iowa.

25 August letter

Between meetings and both sessions of Stake Conference, in Davenport, and Sheila's baptism Friday night we were crunched in our time to visit with other people this past week.
We were very blessed to still have the miracle of getting two new investigators, Sarah and Jason. They have such strong faith and they like everything about what we teach.  One of our other investigators, Rita, runs her own bakery out of her home and she invited us over last night and sent us away with a dozen different flavors of cupcakes, cookies, candied popcorn, and cake pops.  So much for trying to lose weight!  

It was wonderful to be a part of Sheila's baptism this past Friday.  A lot of people and support showed up despite the fact that almost all Sheila's children decided not to come last minute. She was able to have a really good time and feel the Spirit.  Sheila was Sister Randall's very first baptism serving in Dubuque and she had been working with her for a while.  I took some pictures I will send. 

I enjoyed driving down to Davenport (hour and a half south on the river from Dubuque) both for the Saturday night session and the Sunday morning session.  Was able to see Sister Woodbury there, my old companion, and catch up on things since we saw each other last.  When you serve a mission you definitely make friends for life.  

Tuesday night the Relief Society put on a cute fair/carnival activity for all the Relief Society sisters.  They had fun game stations where you could win prizes and earn points, cotton candy machine, corn on a stick (a must in Iowa), corn dogs and home made donuts.  All the ladies also won ribbons for all their homemade or home sewn projects they brought to display.  Rita surprised us by showing up to the activity without telling us beforehand.  She had a lot of fun... now the hard part, getting her to church!  We love her a lot and she already fits in and she doesn't even know it yet. 

We had a little surprise during one of our lessons downtown this past week.  We had just barely sat down to say a prayer with Terry, a member of the church, when his neighbor ran into the house screaming at us to come outside and help!  We walked outside his door (which is on a really busy street downtown) and his neighbor Jim was having a seizure and had fallen in the street and cut his head open really bad.  We held his head still  and wrapped it while waiting for the paramedics to show up.  It definitely was the start of an interesting day.  All in the life of a missionary.

An interesting thing that me and Sister Randall noticed that always happens whenever we teach about Joseph Smith's first vision.  Whenever we start reading his account of what he saw in the Sacred Grove somebody always walks into the room, disrupts or a phone goes off and the Spirit is gone and everyone forgets what we were talking about.  Satan is working so hard against us.  But that's how I know that this Church is true.  Thank you Satan for helping my testimony of Christ grow stronger!

Thanks for all the prayers.  I really miss all of you, friends and family.  I love hearing from you and about how you are all doing.  You can always write me!

8515 Douglas Ave Ste #19
Urbandale, Iowa  50322 

Sister Robertson

Monday, August 18, 2014

2014 August 18th pictures from Dubuque, Iowa

Sister Chelsie Robertson takes a selfie at the computer where she writes her e-mail. She is in the library in Dubuque, Iowa.

Chelsie's mission companion, Sister Randall with the pony custom made for her by Chelsie in exchange for a haircut.
Sister Randall is a hair stylist by trade. 

A close up of the pony.

2014 August 18th letter from Dubuque, Iowa

This past week me and Sister Randall were finally starting to not feel sick anymore so we were able to work hard and stay focused.  We have been working hard with one of our investigators who is going to be baptized this Friday.  She is incredible and has such faith and trust in God even though she has so much to learn.  She is a sweetheart and I hope all her family will follow her example by being baptized too so they can have those special blessings and guidance. 

We have had a lot of neat experiences this past week.  One of them in particular really made us struggle.  We went to go visit a woman who the missionaries were teaching last year and she brought up all the points of our doctrine that she didn't agree with.  One of which really bothered me. She said she hates our church because we specifically send out people to shove our religion down everyone's throats.  She said "i know God, isn't that enough for you to leave me alone?"  This same lady had said that the sister missionaries weighed heavily on her mind all day and wanted to see us again and we just happened to see her name in her book and see her that same day!  God was trying to tell her something, but she wasn't going to listen.  

Another man we taught the Joseph Smith first vision story to told us he thought it was "full of crap." to be honest i use to believe that too and it is full of crap if the Book of Mormon isn't such a powerful witness to me otherwise.  It would be full of crap if that book wasn't true.  And people tell us it isn't true and they will continue to not believe it and think missionaries are annoying and pushy until they just sit and read the book and ask God.  Missionaries only have 18 months to help people grow closer to God so we are going to love you A LOT, visit you A TON and be as bold as we can to get you to act on spiritual promptings and recognize what better life God has planned for you than what you currently have.  Alright, i'll stop missionary venting now :)

This past week has been pretty busy driving back and forth all over the place.  The members we live with came back from their Utah road trip so i have been able to get to know them better.  School started for their kids this week, so our studies are a lot quieter; blessings. 

Sister Randall is a professional hair stylist so i'm getting a free haircut from her today.  Really happy to lose 5 pounds of frustrating, long hair so i quit having headaches while we are out teaching people all day.  I made her a really cute stuffed pony out of fleece and yarn in return.  the best i can do!

We got to visit with President and Sister Jensen at our interviews last week during District Meeting in Clinton, Iowa.  It was really good to see both of them again.  They really do become your parents away from home even though we don't get to see them too often since they have a lot of missionaries to take care of. 

I just found out that Lee and Ruth Robertson (my aunt and uncle) were at Nauvoo the other day looking for me, but i haven't been there in 3 weeks!  Barely missed them!  I didn't get to see anyone i knew at Pageant during July when i was working there. 

Sister Robertson

Monday, August 11, 2014

Pictures from Dubuque, Iowa

Me sewing a pony for Sister Randall, my new companion. She calls him "Rainbow Dash Celestia" from the new My Little Pony show. So silly.
This sign we saw in downtown Dubuque was I couldn't help but take a picture.

2014 August 11 letter from Dubuque, Iowa

I have been slowly adjusting to Dubuque, Iowa this past week.  I had a really bad cold for 2 weeks and I am still pulling out of it.  Mostly exhausted and I can hardly keep up with our lessons and I keep forgetting things and taking naps during lunch breaks.  Within the next week I should be back to normal.  

We have 13 investigators in the Dubuque West area and almost all of them are black.  
There are a total of 8 missionaries serving in Dubuque, 4 of which are English speaking sisters, including myself, and 4 elders who are specifically Marshallese speaking (themselves being pacific islanders).  We have one church building with 2 wards that meet there at 9 am and 1 pm.
The wards are a lot smaller in size than the last ward i served in.  The relief society has maybe 8 women tops including me and Sister Randall and the teacher.  A lot smaller than I am use to. 

None of our investigators we invited (6) were able to make it to church yesterday and we were pretty let down about it, especially since one of them had a baptism interview after church.  We are still hoping to baptize her in two weekends.  Her foot was swollen and hurting so she wasn't able to leave home. 

Dubuque is really scary when you get to the downtown area.  We drove by a building painted all black and it had about 12 suspicious looking people standing around outside waiting to make drug deals.  We also hear sirens constantly and see a lot of emergency vehicles pass by everywhere we go.  There are a LOT of people here. 

Last Thursday we drove all the way to Clinton, Iowa for zone training meeting with all the other missionaries here.  It was an hour and a half drive down the scenic countryside next to the Mississippi river.  Endless hills covered in striped rows of corn and beans, perfect farm houses, red barns, silos, horses and dairy cows.  This is some of the most beautiful country I have seen so far on my mission.  

Most of Dubuque is a lot more scenic and hilly than anywhere else in Iowa.  I think God knew that I would appreciate it here.  And I would also appreciate going to Pizza Ranch (best pizza buffet ever) more often than before with the other missionaries.  I think the closest one to most of you reading this email is Casper, Wyoming and Billings, Montana.  Mostly a mid-west thing.  So Good!

The family that houses us finally came back yesterday after church from their 3 week trip to Utah.  They pulled up in the biggest RV bus I have ever seen.  it almost looks bigger than their house.  It is a little bit noisier now with the kids running around.  Excited to get to know the family better. Me and Sister Randall are having so much fun together as missionaries and we laugh a LOT. 

Also found out that the baseball and corn field from the movie Field of Dreams is a 30 minute drive away.  I'm hoping that we can go see it on one of our P-days soon.  Dad, I know you are jealous!

Sister Robertson

Monday, August 4, 2014

My room in Dubuque, Iowa

This is my room in Dubuque, Iowa. We are living in a member's home there.That kitty is Rocky and he's pouting because we won't let him into the room. We did not want to find fur balls anywhere. Our assigned area is a 25-30 minute drive in the downtown area.

2014 August 4th letter from Dubuque Iowa

A lot of big changes happened this past week and it has been absolutely crazy!  I can hardly keep up with everything.  I was transferred out of Burlington, Iowa so I spent Tuesday and Wednesday saying my goodbyes to everyone and packing.  Thursday we drove to Iowa City for transfers and I was paired up with Sister Randall to serve in the Dubuque, Iowa 1st Ward (pronounced Dub-bee-yuke).  There are 2 wards in Dubuque and the city has 70,000 people in it and it is a few hours drive up the Mississippi from Burlington.   Part of our area goes across the river into Wisconsin and we are a 3 hour drive from Chicago.  Most people here are from Chicago.

Me and Sister Randall get along very well and we have similar interests and personalities.  She is 24 years old and was a hair dresser for 5 years in a salon before she re-activated and came out on her mission.  I feel we have a similar back ground so we understand each other better than I have with my other companions.  She grew up in Blackfoot, Idaho.
Most of our investigators are black from an area similar looking to the Chicago projects downtown and half of our ward are people from the Marshall Islands.  Our elders are Marshall-ese (spelling?) and speak their language.  It is a really large and diverse city with so much going on that I can hardly keep track of everything.  Right now we have 14 investigators and even more potential investigators and we find more every day.  4 of those showed up at church yesterday and they had good experiences.

We live in a bedroom upstairs at a members house in a really nice residential area on the west side of Dubuque and we have our own Ford Fusion.  The members are currently on a trip to Utah so we are watching their silly cat Rocky and have the entire house to ourselves.  I get to sleep on a full size bed too!  I've never slept on one of those before!  Our days are long and tiring because we don't get to go home on our breaks since it is a 25-30 minute trip from downtown to the house, so it will take some getting use to.  This is the largest area I have served in and everything is pretty far to drive to even though it's all city.  It is almost impossible to find your way around too since the roads don't make any sense at all.

This new area has been a roller coaster ride and I have a really bad cold so I'm so exhausted and barely hanging on for dear life every day!  Thanks for the prayers!  I haven't taken a whole lot of pictures in my new area yet except one of Rocky standing at our bedroom door pouting because we don't want him hair-balling our room.

I'll get more of a hang of Dubuque by next Monday and let you know how I'm doing!

Sister Robertson