Monday, January 26, 2015

2015 Jan 26 PICTURES from Mount Pleasant, Iowa

Here's a Cardinal I saw in a tree here.

...and here's (Hermana) Loureiro Queen of Peace, pray for us.
A Jenga model of Solomon's temple that Hermana Loureiro built this morning during companionship studies. It's silly.

The "cow house" in Salem, Iowa. There are lots of small farm towns in our area that we drive to.

26 Jan 2015 e-mail from Mount Pleasant, Iowa

I have been adjusting really fast to the transfer to Mount Pleasant.  Because I served close by in Burlington for 6 months, I knew names of people in Mount Pleasant being taught and members names and stories through the other missionaries which makes it a lot easier to connect with people.  Members in Mount Pleasant will also start talking about members, active and less active, down in Burlington that I worked with or tried to help.  Sparks good conversations and I really have a connection with people here even though I can't speak Spanish. 

There are only 6 people or so in the Branch that speak Spanish.  One of them walks past me multiple times during church just to say, "Tejas!" because it's the only word that they know about me.  It cracks me up every time.  I have been trying to learn some Spanish words and phrases from my companion. 

Really surprised about some information that I learned about from Hermana Loureiro soon after I got here.  There was a less active family out in the country between Burlington and Mount Pleasant that me and Sister Woodbury were trying to teach last year.  All their children were baptized (also boys receiving the priesthood) in November of last year.  I had no idea that had happened.  It was all because me and Sister Woodbury made contact with them and helped them transfer their records over to Mount Pleasant to start working with the missionaries over there because the church building was closer to their house.  Makes you feel like a successful tool in the Lord's hands when people end up being baptized, after the fact, even by the little things you did.  That blew my mind.

On Saturday we drove to Nauvoo for our Zone Training Meeting.  last year the Nauvoo zone was three times the size it is now.  Lots of missionary areas had been closed because too many missionaries were going home and not enough coming out.  The wave is going down.  The meeting was good, but we had to leave early to get back to Mount Pleasant to go to a Branch "International dinner" activity for free dinner.  That was a really busy, stressful day at the end of which I remembered that I had a relief society lesson to teach solo the next morning.  Hermana Loureiro cannot help with teaching lessons in church if there is someone there that needs her to translate it into Spanish.  Good thing I enjoy teaching and I am half decent at it.

We found a new investigator yesterday after church.  He use to have a girlfriend who was learning from the missionaries and then she moved to Utah.  He was involved at her baptism and had learned quite a bit of doctrine.  He even had read more than half of the Book of Mormon.  He is really smart and very delicate and sweet and receptive to the Spirit more than anyone I have ever seen lately on my mission.  He is also very Christ-like and knows how to turn the other cheek and love people no matter what.
His life and story was definitely an inspiring one.  He accepted an invitation to be baptized and we are both excited to be able to teach him more and see how the Spirit and the Restored Gospel will help him to grow into his best self.

Last week we had dinner at the Argueta's house and I received my "baptism by frijoles" (beans).  This week we went back there again after church and had my "sacramental frijoles."  You can only be baptized once. I really love the members here and they are loving, fun and kind.  It is a great branch to serve in and I am grateful that I am here.  It's a privilege.  

Sister Chelsie Robertson

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

PICTURES!!! 20 January 2015 -part 2

This is an odd ice formation on their truck. Did I say it gets really cold in Iowa?!?
Our Mission President, President Jensen showing his fun side.
Sister Roberts and Robertson saying goodbye to the Reynold's kids on transfer day. This is the family we lived with in Asbury, Iowa.
A picturesque Iowa farmhouse near Dubuque.
An epic Iowa scene.

...leaving Dubuque, Iowa on Transfer Day.
Early morning winter pictures of Dubuque.

This is our new apartment in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. This is the bedroom/study area.
Below is the Kitchen and living area. It is an apartment above a business in the downtown area. 

My new companion, Hermana Loureiero, and her german mustache at District P-Day, Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

PICTURES!!! 20 January 2015 -part 1

The Marshallese of Dubuque, Iowa begin to set up for a farewell dinner for the missionaries leaving the area. Me and Sister Roberts are included this time.
The party begins...they love the missionaries.
That's my companion, Sister Roberts on the left with the Elders in Dubuque, Iowa.
Sister Chelsie Robertson playing with a cute Marshallese girl at the party.

...and the song is...

Cute baby girl of our investigator!

Me, Sister Robertson on left with our investigator Shelly and her baby.

My companion, Sister Roberts, with Shelly.
The missionaries line up for the Marshallese tribute.

This is an epic Iowa scene scape from Dubuque.

The Butler family with Sister Roberts and Sister Robertson --aka "Sister Roberts Squared."

Hay bales on the rolling hills of Dubuque, Iowa. The usual snowfall hasn't happened this year.

20 Jan 2015 letter from Mount Pleasant, Iowa

Monday last week me and Sister Roberts received our transfer doctrine phone calls from AP Ellsworth.  He said I was leaving and that Sister Roberts was also leaving.  Our area was being white washed and we were both being replaced by two different sisters in Dubuque.  When this happens as a missionary you tend to get a little irritated.  The two new people don't know investigators and sometimes that results in people being lost and never baptized.  it breaks my heart.  We had to go say goodbye to Shelly our only investigator and she was really sad that we were leaving, but we were able to take pictures with her.  The new sisters didn't seem to connect with her yet even though we set up appointments and told them about it.  I know that ultimately the Lord is in Control and he has it all figured out because He knew that this would happen.

Me and Sister Roberts spent a lot of time cleaning and organizing everything in preparation for transfers.  There was a lot more to get done than normal and a lot of people to go say goodbye too.  I helped her finish sewing her stuffed elephant named Tulu (Johnny paid 8 cows for Mahana!). Transfer meetings are always really nerve-racking.  I am not really a fan at all.  My stomach was so knotted up I thought I was going to pass out.  I was called to serve in the Mount Pleasant Branch (really small) about 26 miles northwest of Burlington where I served for almost 6 months last year with Hermana Loureiro, a Spanish speaking sister.  The mission is in short supply of Spanish speakers, so until next transfer I will be here filling in and I will most likely be moved again for my final transfer. 

I already got to see my investigator Brandi from Burlington by surprise yesterday on P-day and I was so happy to see her!  I missed her so much and I really didn't think I would see her again while serving my mission.  Didn't think I would come back to the Nauvoo Stake again either.  Feels kind of weird, but I am grateful for it.  I will get to spend more time in Nauvoo again. We are even planning to go to a reenactment of the Nauvoo Exodus on February 7th and then go to the temple afterwards.  I'm looking forward to it a lot.  Lots going on here.

Our apartment is one of those above the closed old stores downtown apartment buildings with the sketchy ally ways to walk through to get to and from it.  Members give us groceries every Sunday so our cupboards are overrun with food!  yay!  I eat too much now.  We also have a brand new 2015 Nissan Frontier with 4 wheel drive.  It is really clean and nice and I really appreciate it since we have to drive on a lot of dirt roads and ice.

Our first member dinner appointment was with the Argetta's.  Brother Argetta has absolutely perfected his refried beans recipe and they take him over a week or two to complete the cooking process before ready to eat.  I sat at the table and he asked me what I like to eat and I told him "I really love beans."  He said back, "Today, you will be BAPTIZED by beans!"  He is from Guatemala and he said it perfectly.  My favorite member quote on my mission so far.

I really miss serving with Sister Roberts, but I will get to see her again in about 6 weeks at the next transfer meeting.  Hermana Loureiro will be returning home to Utah at the end of her mission and so will Sister Roberts on February 27th.  I will get to see them both off.  I'm really grateful for that as well.

Hope you all have a great week.

Sister Robertson  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jan 12th Pictures from Dubuque, Iowa

Chelsie's new Jesus planner art work that she did while she was grounded last week during the severe snow storm. (Temperatures were well below zero)
Picture clippings from old church magazines that she made a collage with to decorate her missionary planner.

This picture was taken and CHelsie's last District Meeting. Notice "Roberts squared" --aka Sister Chelsie Robertson and Sister Roberts.
The frozen Mississippi River at Eagle Point Park before the snow storm. It is covered in snow now.

January 12th letter from Dubuque, Iowa

This past week we had some severely cold weather and snow fall.  We spent half the week or more stuck inside.  Either that or just being allowed by the mission to go straight to scheduled appointments each day and then head home after.  No door to door proselyting or walking outside was allowed.  That is pretty normal for the Iowa Des Moines Mission.  

What do missionaries do when they're stuck inside all day long without being able to watch movies and TV?  Well there are some shorter church produced movies that we can watch on or have copies of to show investigators that we end up watching too many times over just so we have something to watch.  Usually movies about Joseph Smith or Jesus.  Hoping to get our hands on The Testament before the next storm. Sometimes we will study and read longer than a normal day, spend more time eating than necessary, taking more naps than necessary, try calling some people to set up appointments for later in the week, doodle and end up going to bed an hour earlier because we run out of things to do and we get too bored. 

The Marshallese Elders were able to have a baptism for their 10 year old investigator Franklin on Saturday and since they are a part of the 1st Ward we were able to be a part of the program and help out with making the program fliers and setting up.  His parents were particularly touched and I really hope the Elders will be able to baptize them also in the next coming months.  Members have said that Franklin is a beaming light and example to all the kids in primary and had been attending primary for over 4 months before he was baptized.  He will definitely be a missionary one day!  

Trying all our efforts this week to get our investigator to church, they didn't show when we went with a member to go pick them up.  We were really sad about that.  We'll try our best to figure out how we can best help them this coming week.  They also accepted the word of wisdom this past Friday and committed to live it.  We are hopeful that they will be ready for their baptism in February. 

Today is transfer doctrine phone call day.  We already found out that our District Leader, Elder Whiting, is being replaced with another District Leader, but the rest of us won't get called until after 8 pm tonight sometime.  Makes for a nerve racking day, hard to function as a missionary day.  I have been praying and hoping I will stay.  Usually I have a gut feeling that I am leaving when I do get transferred, but this time I don't.  I feel that I am staying, but I will let you all know next Monday what happens this week.  I really want to stay with Sister Roberts in Dubuque for her last 6 weeks on her mission before moving back to Spanish Fork, Utah and then finish out my last 6 after that training someone new in the area and then packing up.  We'll see what the Lord has planned and then I will "go where He wants me to go."

Sister Robertson


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mission Address

Sister Chelsie Anne Robertson
Iowa Des Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave Ste 19
Urbandale, IA 50322

This is Chelsie's mission address if you would like to write to her. She would love it.

2014 January 5th letter from Dubuque, Iowa

Happy New Year!

Can't believe I spent the entire year of 2014 in Iowa.  I love it though!  The wind chill factors in Dubuque Iowa this week/today are suppose to be anywhere from -10 to -50.  Makes winters back in Utah seem pretty wimpy and manageable.  I can take on anything now.

This past week we were stuck inside our house super sick for three days and we were finally able to get back to work again after the New year.  Spent New Year's Eve watching old church films, for instance "Only a Stone cutter" and others.  We enjoyed it. 

We have been trying really hard to get one of our investigators to attend church with us and this week our meeting time changed to 1 in the afternoon so we thought for sure we would be able to see her there, but we were wrong.  Sometimes when you have never regularly been to church your whole life it is a little scary to come for the first time.  There is so much love and welcoming in our Dubuque ward and I can't wait for her to come one day soon.  We had a really great lesson with her on Saturday.  We had planned before had what we would talk with her about and discuss with her and after we headed back to our car we realized how perfect everything we said and talked about turned out.  The Spirit was with us in an increased intensity the remainder of the evening.  We felt as if everything we taught that day wasl not our words.  

We helped Sister Swift on Saturday with shoveling some snow and moving some things around her house.  She pulled out a laptop and a brand new Samsung Tablet which she didn't really know what they could do or how to turn them on.  She's older and says that there was an info-mercial and it seemed like a good deal so she bought them. lol. We showed her how to turn it on and pull up a webpage browser and search for all the movies and videos the church has put out on and and her eyes opened really big and her mouth dropped. She said, "oh my goodness, i didn't realize this whole time how amazing this is!"  Really fun reaction to helping someone discover the wonderful vastness of the internet! So cute!  We said a prayer with her and as we were about to leave she didn't get off the couch, she just looked up at us and said, "I think I'm going to be here for a while."  She's so funny.

We both were able to feel the Spirit at church and got up to bare testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I don't even remember all I said either.  I didn't pre-determine my comments before I went to the pulpit.  The Spirit just spoke through me and then I sat down again.  It's a pretty incredible feeling, knowing exactly what's going on in those instances and also knowing that you are a worthy enough to be such a instrument in the hands of the Lord. 

The missionary work overall in Dubuque has been struggling substantially the past year, no matter what missionaries President Jensen puts in or takes out.  It's a tough area and it's very hard to find new people to teach.  Our baptism goals for this New Year were only set at 12 when our goal last year was overshot at 20 and we only got 5 of those baptisms to happen. 
We do our best and President and Sister Jensen are doing their best to help us.  I really think this year it will progressively get better here. 

Hope everyone is continually strengthening their testimony everyday and following the counsels of God and not the World. God knows the pit falls and all the consequences.  The only reason why he gives us commandments is to preserve us and help us succeed and avoid misery.  It is and never was about power and control or else God would have had something better to do than create us and put us here.  It would not have been in His own self-interests. In knowing the reason for God and what He does, all we need to do is apply (in this instance and not all others) a little bit of logic and truly ponder and think about it.  He LIVES and this is a fact just as Gravity is a fact that we can't choose to believe or not, if we jump up we're going to come back down.  Never stop studying!  The more you learn about the truth and reality the more excited it will become to you.    
Love you!
Sister Robertson