Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 Sept 29 photos from Iowa

The rolling hills of Iowa are landscapes of corn from Dubuque to Davenport. It's really pretty.
more corn...

...and more corn.

This tractor picture is from 

They let us draw on the tables with crayons. The picture is Sister Randall's drawing of a flower and I added my deer around it.

The Stake Relief Society had a nice dinner before the General Women's Meeting broadcast in Davenport, Iowa.

Sister Randall and I at the RS dinner.

We took more corn pictures outside the Stake building for fun.

The sister missionaries are taking their own photos next to the church building.

Sunset over the corn next to the church.

This is a funny license plate I saw at the church yesterday.

A picture of the 5 year olds and their bunnies they colored after we taught them a lesson about how to treat animals nicely.

2014 SEPTEMBER 29 LETTER FROM DUBUQUE, IOWA

We were able to carpool down to Davenport in the Quad Cities to watch the Relief Society Broadcast with other sister missionaries and members of our Stake on Saturday night.  They also provided a wonderful dinner before hand and we all had a lot of fun and took some fun pictures in and around the church.  The entire broadcast was centered around getting to the temple and if you can't get there right now you need to be doing your family history.  Family History is pretty much temple work and you can do it regardless of where your standing in the church is.  

Our lives should always be centered around the temple and what we need to do to get there or stay there, no exceptions.  We will not be truly happy and blessed in this life or the life after if we aren't holding a temple recommend.  Only we are keeping ourselves from those wonderful blessings that our Heavenly Father wants so desperately to give us.  We need to stop trying to figure life out with our own strength and weaknesses.  Don't let anything get in the way of temple. EVERYONE has a role to play in the temple.

We were able to celebrate Leah's birthday on Saturday afternoon as well.  Leah is like I use to be, a bright redhead who plays trumpet.  We have so much in common to talk about.  Leah spends multiple times a week coming out with us to help teach lessons to investigators and sometimes she'll even go finding with us.  She has a big heart and a big testimony and we really appreciate and love her a lot.  I'm lucky I get to be her friend.

Other than that We had a very hectic week.  Because I was sick before we had a lot of catching up to do and a lot of people to contact and meet with.  We were also able to do a lot of finding and met three new potentials that were really grateful that we showed up, saying specifically that they felt we were an answer to their prayers.  So incredible how we are tools in the Lord's hands.

I also hit my year mark from entering the MTC last Thursday.  I cannot believe I have been serving this long.  I will be headed home 6 months from October 9th and I plan to make the best of the short time I have left to serve. 

Funny story:  Most of the time as missionaries you get the chance to listen to some pretty weird doctrine that people believe.  One lady we talked to mentioned that, quote, "I remember when I was in my mother's womb, she fed me a lot of Peanut butter and I didn't like it." She believed a lot in Reincarnation and other theories.  It's always interesting.  I also hear a LOT about Wickery. Basically the explanation for this is there are "good witches" that can perform good spells. It is pretty different and strange.  But the same forces of good and evil spirits are present in their beliefs that are in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  That's because they're real eternal truths.  There are more of these eternal truths present in almost all religions.

I also gave a training on the importance of receiving personal revelation through the Book of Mormon, which I was more than excited to give since I have a deep love for the Book of Mormon.  

Sorry for such a long email this week!  I hope you are all doing well and relying on God to help you out with the hard times and thanking him in the good times.

Favorite quote I heard this week, "if you don't like who you are, then change what you do."

love,

Sister Robertson  

Monday, September 22, 2014

2014 September 22 letter from Dubuque, Iowa

This past week we were stuck inside for a few days unable to get any work done.
The Reynolds (the family we live with) got strep from school and passed it along to me, so I was stuck inside with swollen Tonsils and a badly sore throat all week.  Unfortunately as a missionary you seem to pick up every sick bug you come in contact with because you're out around so many people in lots of different places, clean or dirty.  I got a blessing and my recovery was within the next day and half.  I was surprised just how quickly I recovered.  That's the fastest I have experienced on my mission.  The Priesthood power is real.

Other than that we got to keep visiting with Sheila, our recent convert, and a few other potential investigators.  Our teaching pool is getting too low.  We are going to be spending a lot of time this week knocking doors! I love being able to walk around and meet new people.  You would be surprised how many incredible people there are out there who are all very nice and have such strong faith in Jesus Christ.  People are definitely being prepared.

Not much else to report for this past week.  We were suppose to drive the 2.5 hours to Iowa City for Zone Conference meeting all day Thursday but we were advised by a doctor in our ward and our mission president to stay home.  I was both grateful and sad about that.

Keep reading the book of Mormon whenever you can.  It is incredible.  I am on my 6th time reading it since I put in my mission papers and I still can't get enough of it.  It isn't just for "churchy" people.  It speaks the Truth; how things are and how things will be.  It is the Truth that everyone in this world is looking for and you have it written down.  Take advantage of it. 

Hope everyone is enjoying the fall season and making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and picking up cool looking colorful leaves on the ground and showing them to your best buddies.
Well that's what I dream about doing.

love you
Sister Robertson

Monday, September 15, 2014

PICTURES FROM DUBUQUE

The Marshallese people give a transfer party to the missionaries leaving Dubuque this transfer.








This is one of the libraries the missionaries write their e-mails home. It is not the one I'm currently e-mailing at however. 
We went bowling on our last p-day at the casino. As you can see from our scores, Sister Robs lost.



This is what I do on p-day while all the other missionaries play sports. :-)

Some strange tin men on the back of someone's house. I guess they think the tin men are guarding their house from trespassers. lol

September 15th letter

The bishop and leaders and the missionaries ended up clearing up all the confusion with the boundaries for the missionaries in Dubuque this past week.  Everything is back to normal and we now have all our old investigators back except the ones that dropped us.  Things have been going really well, but there is always room for improvement and more hard work.


Our pool of investigators and appointments have been slowing down and a lot of people have been dropping us or being flaky.  We have been spending more time during the day knocking doors and street contacting so we can find more people to teach.  So far we haven't found too many.  When you go knocking you run into the crabbiest people, it's sad, but funny how serious they are.  One door we knocked on opened and the guy said "I'm Atheist! Goodbye!" really enthusiastically and slammed the door.  That cracked me up.  Others are less funny.



One of our long-term investigators finally showed up to Church.  We were about ready to drop them and then they invited us over for dinner.  We weren't sure what to do so we decided to read over the Articles of Faith to answer more of their questions about what makes our church different.  Family History work popped up in conversation and they got really excited and started pulling out their computers and showing us all the family history work they had been doing.  We invited them over to the Family History Center at our church building Friday afternoon and we found out that he had ancestors in the early LDS church and the line stopped shortly after the death of Joseph Smith.  Our investigator got very excited to find out why they left the church and maybe who else in his family were once members.  He is now on an avid search to find out and came to church for all 3 hours to talk to more people about it.  We hope to get the whole family there next week.  Excited to see how this goes. 



Me and Sister Randall were not transferred out of Dubuque so we are still here working together for the next 5 weeks.  Usually a mission transfer is only 6 weeks, but this one is only 5.  The church is trying to line up all the transfer days in the United States.  I am curious as to why. Only big change here in Dubuque is the other set of Sister missionaries were removed and replaced with Elders because some creeper guy had been stalking them around their apartment.  Now me and Sister Randall are the only sisters within an hour and a half drive and we have 3 sets of Elders here now.  Before the other missionaries left Dubuque the Marshallese threw a big and really fun going away party at the Saito's house.  I'll send pictures of that.    



A huge cold front blew through Iowa this past week.  We had lows in the 30s and highs in the 50s in the middle of September!  Someone told us that it's been snowing up north already too, but I don't get to watch the news so I can't verify that.  I had to bust out my coat already.  The leaves haven't started changing colors quite yet for it to be that cold.  



Shout out to my best friend Lauren Leininger!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW!  haha, you're on my blog now. I love you!  Have fun!  Wish I could be there with you!

Sorry if I have missed anyone else's!  Happy Birthday to anyone else reading this that had a birthday recently.



<3

Sister Robertson

Chelsie asked me to post this video link to her blog today. She said, "it is my favorite one and you should watch it. It's good." 
https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=4406701025536774554#editor/target=post;postID=8848719917092020697;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=1;src=link

Monday, September 8, 2014

2014 Sept 8 pictures

Downtown Galena, Illinois where we spent the day on Saturday with an investigator at a bakery sale she was working.

Galena has a huge shopping center in the middle of the tiny town that attracts people from all over the midwest.

The bakery sale we went to help with. It was to help an author of children's books who lives in Galena. Our investigator is her friend.


The author writes books about his pack of Malamute dogs so we got to see and pet them too. They are huge and fluffy...my favorite!


The sunset from Galena at the end of our day was beautiful.

2014 Sept 8 letter from Dubuque, Iowa

Today we are waiting for our transfer phone calls.  Sister Randall has been here 6 months and we think she is getting booted out.  We won't find out by the time i'm done emailing so I will let you all know next week what happens, but most likely I will be staying put. 

We had a lot of hard things happen to our missionary work in Dubuque this week.  In the Dubuque first ward we have Marshallese speaking elders that usually just teach only Marshallese people, but this past week they reinstated boundaries splitting the ward in half with us instead.  We have lost almost all our contacts and investigators in the change and all our usual dinner appointments.
I know it was done for a reason, but we have a lot of work to do to catch up now.  And about the dinner appointments we won't be getting nearly as many anymore, It's fine because we are both on our last 6 to7 month diets.  Everyone in the mission calls it the "six months to sexy."  It's tough being a full time missionary and not being able to relieve stress by eating ice cream and french fries. 

One of our investigators (a part-member family) dropped us this past week.  They said that we were stalking them and they are "putting their foot down" so we can't teach them anymore.  Sad when that happens, because we are just trying to help them see what they're missing in their lives. 

On Saturday we got to go with another investigator named Rita to Galena, Illinois to help her with a bakery sale she was asked to do for an author of children books who lives there.  The author writes books about his pack of Malamute dogs, so we got to see and pet the dogs too.  They're huge and fluffy.  my favorite.  

Other than that just working hard to teach and find more people to teach and brushing off rejection. No baptisms scheduled yet.  Not too exciting of a week, but I love being a missionary.  

Sister Robertson

Thursday, September 4, 2014

2014 Sept 3rd pictures

A view of the Mississippi River from Dubuque, Iowa

These next 5 pictures are from downtown Dubuque. We live about a 30 minute drive away from here but this is where we do most of our work.




The downtown Dubuque, Iowa library where we sometimes write our e-mails. It was built in the 1800's.


We went to a Marshallese birthday party. These next few pictures are some of the kids and the missionaries.


Me and my mission companion Sister Randall and the elders.
Fish eyeballs the Marshallese like to eat. Eewww...gross!

They cooked a whole pig for the birthday party.




We went to the Labor Day Parade in downtown Dubuque. They have parades all the time in Iowa. This guy was funny with his corn cob hat.

John Deere in the parade. They are one of the main employers in this area. The father in the family we live with also works for John Deere.

More funny pictures from the parade...


Yep, that's a blue dog in the parade too. lol


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

3 Sept 2014 letter from Dubuque, Iowa

So much has happened in this past week, but mostly just staying busy every day.Last week I hit my 11 month mark which means i only have less than 7 months left on my mission now.  Time really does fly by when you're working hard and having fun.

We were invited to a Marshallese first birthday party last Saturday night and they cooked up an entire pig.  The Marshallese know how to throw good parties.  They even will bring in giant plastic tubs of fried rice and homemade donuts.  It's a TON of food.  Try to do our best making it out of there without getting fatter.  They play loud music and play lots of games and they have a ton of cute little kids running around.  One of them named Matt took off with my camera and took some fun pictures.  I will post those.   

We also went to see the Labor Day parade downtown which mostly consisted of candy, corn and tractors.  Nothing less than what you'd expect to see in Iowa.  It was fun though to do something different.

This past week we have also experienced a lot of disappointments.  Including doing drive by's to see if the person you're helping to quit smoking is actually smoking and then seeing them smoking.  Then you call them that night to see if they smoked or not and they tell you no.  Or when you show up to your appointment and they all sneak out the back one by one and get in the car and leave because they saw you coming.  That happened two or three times last week. They have no idea what they're missing.  Missionary work is so much fun! 

We do not having any baptisms on date right now, but we have over 25 people that are investigating or potentially investigating and we are working hard to meet with them every week and keep inviting them to change and come to church.

When we teach the Restoration of the Gospel and Joseph Smith we lose people and they sometimes drop us.  Think we're crazy to believe what we do.  Only a few pay attention or invite us back.  Incredibly hard to just get even one person to read the Book of Mormon.  Satan works so strongly against it, but we just keep working and keep fighting it because we know it's the Truth.

Sister Robertson