Wednesday, February 25, 2015

2015 Feb 13 PICTURES

This is a road we drove on outside of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. That is the reason we have a truck with 4 wheel drive.
This is the sunset photo we took off that road above.

This is the panda I made for Sister White in Burlington. She really loves Pandas and has been having a rough time. I am excited to give it to her this week. :)

2015 Feb 23 letter from Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

It is getting slowly harder and harder for me to sit down on Monday and write this email for my blog.  So many incredible things happen during the week that I can hardly remember them all and sharing my experiences. I keep a daily journal for myself, because my memory isn't too great. 

I got called on Yesterday last minute to teach the Relief Society lesson on the importance of the Sacrament.  I referred to the story of the "Living Water" that Christ offered to the Samaritan woman at the Well.  I had no time to prepare and was very exhausted from the day before and not feeling my best, thus everything that came out of my mouth was straight from the Spirit which is how it should be.  Don't over prepare because it doesn't leave room for the Spirit to teach you anything.  God does not command in all things, but He still commands in some things.  It is a very humbling experience and cannot be explained in Words unless you have experienced it for yourself.  All I remember from my lesson (they were not my words, but the words of the Spirit) was when I was referring to the Living Waters as water in a river.  No matter what liquid water encounters, it overcomes it.  Water flows around boulders, sticks, barbed fences, and many other obstacles in this world with EASE.  When we are partaking of the Living Water that Christ offers us through His Atonement and His Doctrine we flow through life with more ease than before.  Overcoming whatever obstacles are in our path with patience and consistency.  We never stop moving forward and changing and progressing.

We had a great lesson this past week with our Investigator.  He has been doing family History work since we started meeting with you.  We haven't even taught him about the importance of family history work in the Church.  He just felt an overwhelming desire to start looking into it.  He has found out that on his Mother's side he is related to Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  We are hoping that he will be baptized by the end of March.  He said that "he feels like a sponge" right now. Learning as much as he can and feeling the Spirit more and more.  

One truth and pattern you see evidence of on your Mission is whenever you find someone that is not a member of the church they usually have had some connection already with the church either in their past or in their family and you just haven't figured out which one it is yet.  This is almost always true.  Heavenly Father follows these people and hails them with missionaries.  This is all guided by the Spirit.

Being around Hermana Loureiro as she is preparing to return home in 4 days is very distracting you could say.  Makes it hard not to think about when my turn comes up the first week of April.  I'm really grateful I got to serve with her.  She is a great, obedient missionary who loves the Lord and has read the ENTIRE OLD TESTAMENT from 3 weeks ago until now.  I've learned a lot from her.  Including how missionary work should be the funnest thing you do and how to laugh and crack jokes all day long and have a blast.

Preaching the Gospel to our Brothers and Sisters is the happiest work in existence and should be fun.   She trusts God a lot and has a lot of Faith and speaks Spanish really well.  I've been learning a few phrases myself.  Los Ultimato Cena de Frijoles.

Got to spend one day last week with another Sister from the mission while the departing missionaries went on their final temple trip.  It wasn't the same. I'm going to miss Hermana Loureiro and I wish her a happy return home to Layton, Utah this Friday.

Been in -20 wind chill temperatures all last week and I'm use to it now. Going to melt when I go back to Texas in April when it's already summer there.

THIS GOSPEL IS TRUE. never forget that. If you don't know it go figure it out.  If you are not doing very good keeping the commandments or fulfilling your callings and attending all your meetings you probably aren't that converted to the Gospel and you should work on that because It's true and you are missing out on the infinite happiness of blessings hidden behind the dam that you built.  I'm not ashamed.  Change doesn't take very long, you make it take longer than it should.  Embrace it and Let go and find lasting happiness.

Love you!
Sister Robertson

Monday, February 9, 2015

2015 Feb 9th from Mount Pleasant, Iowa and Nauvoo, Illinois

This week Sister Robertson and Sister Loureiro are spending their p-day down in Nauvoo so there will be no blog post until next week. She did send some amazing photos to share though. Enjoy
We ran into Zeke! We were at the Exodus Walk in Nauvoo on Saturday morning. I hadn't seen her since last July and she was Zeke Leaking. She was someone we taught the gospel to. She told me she was able to go to the temple and do the baptism work for her mom recently! What a wonderful impact came to Zeke's life when we knocked on her door!

The next pictures are all of the Nauvoo Exodus Reenactment.
This is Chelsie's mom now --For those who do not know about this time in history and the significance of the reenactment, it was a time when mob violence raged and even the Illinois governor issued an extermination order against Mormons. Things escalated to the point when the church leaders decided to leave Nauvoo for the west in hopes of finding a more peaceful place to live. Chelsie had several grandparents who took that same walk with their families during a very harsh winter and under very hostile circumstances with the mobs.  The mobs had killed their beloved Prophet Joseph Smith. It was a sad and emotional time for the pioneers as they left the city they had built along with their beloved Nauvoo Temple. 
There were flags representing the various countries the pioneers came from.

Hay bales in a barn...

The horse drawn wagons in the Exodus.
The Nauvoo Exodus walk went down the Trail of Hope to the banks of the Mississippi River. 

The Nauvoo Temple from various angles --BEAUTIFUL!!

Chelsie loves scenic pictures if you can't tell. This is a small cabin in Nauvoo, Illinois on what appears to be a calm winter's day. 

A great moonscape from Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

And here's a great sunset also from Mt. Pleasant.

Monday, February 2, 2015

2015 Feb 2nd PICTURES!!

There is a snow storm outside in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

What a beautiful red cardinal in Mt. Pleasant. 

My companion, Hermana Loureiro gets really bored and plays with Silly Putty and nails sometimes, actually quite frequently. This one freaked me out a little bit.

This is how we rescued Hermana Loureiro's name tag after it fell and kept it from falling behind the concrete house steps.

Hermana Loureiro's nametag catcher. 

This is a beautiful shot of nature from Mt Pleasant, Iowa.

I was having too much fun stick inside yesterday because of the crazy snow storm.

. . . and the snowstorm fun continues

Since we were stuck inside I finished the moose I promised Hermana Loureiro. 

2015 Feb 2nd letter from Mount Pleasant, Iowa

Winter disappeared until Saturday night and we had a bad storm that lasted through this morning.  we got almost a foot of snow and church was cancelled as well and we spent the rest of the day after a lunch appointment stuck in the apartment by request of our mission president.  This thing that doesn't happen in winters in the west called Snow drift and snow dunes make it not so fun to go outside in.  Snow is in different depths and there are literally little sand dunes of snow everywhere, outside your door etc. that can be up to two feet or more deep.  The wind is so powerful here that it just tosses snow everywhere including your face.  I don't really appreciate that part of the storms. 

Last week we found a new investigator named Ian.  We were able to have 4 lessons with him in the span of a week and he has been so prepared by God and by listening to the Spirit that he will be baptized within the next 3 weeks.  The Spirit is so strong in our lessons that everything he says is the voice of the Spirit through his words and everything we teach is what the Spirit wants us to say.  It is so overwhelmingly powerful that both me and my companion are shaking and our muscles are really tense after the lessons are over.  There is a reason that some people have been known to be transfigured before God showed them things.  Our mortal frames cannot contain it.  When missionaries (or really anyone) feel the Spirit working through them you get really tired.  It literally wears you out.  Everything out of Ian's mouth is the golden, perfect answer.  He has lots of questions.  He feels that the Truth is in and around all things and he can't believe that people are so blind that they cannot see it.  We were on exchanges this past week with some sisters from Keokuk.  Before me and Sister Muirbrook left the apartment to go so Ian, Hermana Loureiro looked at me and said, "I feel like Ian will connect a lot with Joseph Smith, you should take one of the Joseph Smith Pamphlets with you."  So I trusted her judgment and grabbed some information we had on Joseph Smith.  Right after we sat down to teach Ian at the Laundromat across from his house, Ian looked up at me and said, "you know, I really feel this connection with Joseph Smith... I can really relate to him and I want to learn as much as I can about him."  When you are a good missionaries things like this will happen all the time and it just about sends you into shock.  This Church is Christ's true church on Earth and he is involved with his work and we are his tools.   

When church was cancelled we called and let Ian know that he couldn't come see the meeting.  About an hour later he called us back and said, "I am dressed up anyways, I might as well go over and see what it's like there."  The Argueta family all came and picked us up and we met Ian at the church and he was dressed up in a nice suit with a cane.  He looked really classy.  Someone who shows his respect to God by his appearance.  We had an incredible lesson with Ian at the church.  I have never taught someone like him on the mission.  He is incredibly prepared and fully committed right now to this Gospel and he already received his answer from the Spirit that this is the True church.  It is absolutely incredible.   I am very grateful I was transferred to Mt Pleasant to be able to teach him and help him learn and grow in the Gospel.  He isn't just a regular investigator that never understands that this church is the only true church 20 years later after baptism.  He understands it right now.  He has an incredible perspective on life and this world and has so much in store for him.

We are teaching a handful of other people, but we haven't been able to teach them as much as Ian.  Members of the Mt Pleasant Branch are all wonderful.  There is a good feeling here and I really love serving here.  It is the perfect area to spend the last two transfers of my mission in Iowa.  Grateful I was sent here.  Completely inspired. 
There are never coincidences in life. Never.

A random guy we were talking to last week told us that the federal government issued the destruction of all the "projects" in New York and Chicago and it has displaced a lot of lower class people who are trying to find new places to live.  I don't have a way to confirm this as a missionary, but if it's true, it's a pretty historical event.  A lot has been happening in this country and if you want to know what is going to happen and how to be prepared read the book of Mormon.  People already lived in this country thousands of years ago and it the same things are repeating themselves here now. 

"I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread." (king David, psalms 37:25). A comfort to those that strictly obey all the commandments of God.  Think about it for a minute.  It's a great promise.

"...for when I am weak, then am I strong." (2 Cor. 12:10)

"I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."  (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

Sister Robertson