Sunday, December 23, 2012

WEEK 19

so last week we went up to solano for a christmas devotional (again) and president carlos gave the closing remarks at this one. He started off by describing the massacre in connecticut and how terrible that was and the sadness and heartbreak of that at a time that should be happy. Then he talked about that the purpose of this time of year is to celebrate the fact that christ loves us so much he came to earth as a mortal. I was reminded of 1 Nephi 11 i think. where the angel asks nephi "knowest the condescension of god?" I never really gave much thought about that until i read the infinite atonement (I reccomend that to everyone) where it talks about that he did not need to come down, he was infinite and eternal. he was the god of worlds and was all powerful and he came down and suffered more than a finite mind can comprehend. The atonement is what makes christmas special, the condescension of god was complete and our salvation was guaranteed. So when we sing joy to the world the next few weeks and reenact the nativity story, just think that he loves us so much that he came to svae us from physical death through the resurrection and spiritual death through the atonement. We just need to endure to the end and try our hardest to become like him through the gospel. we can do it! That is the good news of christmas is that there is always hope as long as he is on our side. I testify of that everyday here in the philippines.
So transfers were this week and I left Cattagaman, I am down here in Nueva Vizcaya in bambang zone in aritao area, it is the farthest south area in our mission. My new companion is Elder Coleman. He goes home in march and is from Utah so my first american comp of my mish. I think we should get along great. We live with two other missionaries as well, and one is american so it should be way fun for a while. The branch president here is way rich and really loves good missionaries so we are lucky to be opening an area is a good branch, apparently the one of the best branches in the mission or says president carlos. So I am lucky because we will have a good christmas and new years haha. I don't have pictures yet because we have been getting moved in and what not but hopefully i will remember this week to show next week.
Mahal Ko Kayo!
Elder Robertson


Sunday, December 16, 2012

WEEK 18

we had three kids who were baptized (see pic) and a christmas devotional. I had to dress up as nephi, i thought my days of acting were over after elementary school. Well the cycle is almost over, and my endurance is almost over (hopefully) then i get to start again! hopefully. updates next week on the happening. This week teaching wise was pretty good, we have one girl on date for december 29 and a mom and a daughter on date for the 12th of januarys so hopefully those will happen. It is requiring sacrifice though, it takes a whole day to teach those two lessons and costs 100 pisos to travel there and back but if they get baptized it will be worth it. We also got to go to the first presidency christmas devotional, i was especially touched by pres uchtdorfs talk about being good recievers, no problem there for me especially when every letter and package is like manna from heaven haha. Also our ward is planning a christmas party, yeah it is going from 2pm until 7 pm, they are going all out for this thing and apparently all they do is sit around and talk. filipinos love to just linger and chat. one of their favorite things. and it gets annoying cause they are always late because they talk. but patience is a virtue haha. so to conclude this letter this week i will include part of the newsletter from the mission, it is quite the story and i was susrprised it worked out but cool all the same.
Christmas Love
My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six-year-old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant."
The time for the performance came and I filed in 10 minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as Christmas, I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment - songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. So, when my sons' class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.
Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright beanies upon their heads. Those in the front row-center stage - held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the class would sing, "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love."
The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down... totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W".
The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But, she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W." Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:
"C H R I S T W A S L O V E"
And, I believe, He still is.

Love ELDER ROBERTSON!!!
elder Robertson and the 3 kids he baptized with companion

Sunday, December 9, 2012

WEEK 17

It is crazy hot here especially for december apparently. Well this week was a pretty good week, and this next week should be good also. we have three brothers being baptized. Angelo, Ninyo, and Andrei. They are 12, 10, and 9 respectively. They are excited especially since their older siblings are already members so that should help them. We also have another 12 year old, ganela, on date for december 29 and an older sister named sonia who will probably be baptized sometime in january! However transfers are next week on the 13th so i may be gone, hopefully not cause I like it here and i want one more cycle here. especially since it is christmas here.  we have a christmas devotional this week, and they are making me sing, i have to sing a bass part of a christmas song that i don't know, with wondering awe. i am screwed and they choose me because i am american and they automatically think i can sing. Terrible. Well this week was just more teaching and sweating and enduring with my companion, who is about as prideful as can get. but oh well. submit cheerfully to all things the lord sees to inflict....quiz: what scripture? Well this week was the first time i rode in a jeepnee, the back of a dump truck and eat bread that looks like a pig....see the pictures haha. Hopefully everyone is enjoying school......just be thankful cause kids here start at like 7 and get out at 7 with a two hour break at noon and 4. that would stink. This week in the book of mormon i was reading in ether 2. The lord is talking to the brother of jared about the promised land, and he says like 4 times that it is a blessed land and the people will prosper unless they forget the lord and turn to iniquity. That is true. I was also impressed in Alma 62, pahorans response to captain moroni's letter in which moroni was really bold and chastizing. He was incredibly patient and understanding of the situation, moroni did not know the circumstances of pahoran and the fact that he was under siege. The natural man would fire back and probably complain back but parhoran was able to overcome that and patiently ask for help. So in our lives, we should not be quick fire back at people. they may be justified and sometimes they may just be looking for an arguement, but as true servants and follwers of christ we should overcome the natural tendencies and exercise patience. I must say I have become really patient here, i would say it is becoming one of my stronger traits haha unlike the last 19 years of my life haha.
Mahal Ko Kayo,

Elder Robertson


This is an email from the Shaners a senior couple in elder Robertson's mission
 
In the mission, we are in the middle of our Christmas Devotional programs and last night, we drove to Tuguegarao to present to their two stakes. We always utilize the local 'manpower', the Elders and Sisters, to play the 'parts' and Sister Carlos chose your Elder for Nephi!! Thought you would enjoy seeing what he has been up to. He is doing great, has a positive attitude, always a smile.
Sister Shaner




this is bread that looks like a pig with some kids


Elder Robertson in the middle dressed as Nephi with 2 other missionaries


Elder Phippen and Elder Mousley in the back of a dump truck


 
 

 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

WEEK 16


How is everyone? Glad to hear the Thanksgiving went well. All the Americans in our zone went to Macdo (mcdonalds) cause it is the most american place and all got apple pies haha.That was about it for my thanksgiving. Other than that, this week we had a couple of referrals we contacted and we were 2 for 2. they committed to baptism! They live a long ways away though and it will be interesting if they show the faith to go to church for the required 4 weeks in a row before they get baptized. But it was such a moral booster for me, the last few weeks was just mostly less actives and an occasional investigator but now we have a potential 5 baptisms coming up so up until yesterday I wanted to get transferred but now I don't caude I want to see these people through to the end! Other than that just another week in the mission. I was walking down a street and these kids were playing so I walk by and the hoop is like 9 feet, so they give me the ball cause they think every american can ball. So they give it to me and i hit 3 15 footers and the are freaking out cause they never take a shot outside of 7 feet. Then they are like Dunk! Dunk! So i go and just throw a two handed 180 on this little 9 foot hoop and then they go crazy and i swear if i had asked them they might have got on the ground and worshipped me. It was hilarious.
So it is terribly hot here, it literally hurts when I walk outside the first time everyday and it never seems to end. NEVER. it is insane and now i realize that i miss cold weather, like 45-55 degrees. just cold enough for a sweatshirt, not to mention that now I drink hot chocolate in the morning cause it is so poular and cheap here. And I am seriously going through basketball and golf withdrawals. When I play bball I just destroy people with my moves and golf is even worse cause I can't play it. My competitiveness is at an all time high and I am on a mission, what a coincidence haha. Transfers are coming up so there is a possibility that I might be training.....ayaw ko (i don't want to) but i am up for going to nueve viscaya where the rice terraces are so that could be fun. The mission just keeps growing and going fast, it is crazy how different missionary work is on the other side, as the missionary. there are so many meetings and changes and stuff but in the end the ultimate goal is to convert people. It is the best work cause seeing someone baptized is all worth it. So that's about it for this week
Maha Ko Kayo!
Elder Robertson
elder Robertsons thanksgiving dinner
backpack a man made for elder Robertson

Sunday, November 25, 2012

WEEK 15


 I really miss american food. So I challenge you all to be thankful for living in the promised land. In the book of mormon it says that if ye will keep his commandments then ye will prosper in the land. And I was thinking if that applied to nephites thousands of years ago why can't it most definitely apply to us today? If we keep the commandments and try our hardest to live the gospel and do our duty as saints (which means becoming self reliant, tithing, missionary work etc.) then we will prosper in the land. Meaning we will have enough to meet the needs of our families and enough to have an abundant life and enough to move the work forward. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful that we are prospering in the land haha. I hope you are getting the food from meadow cause that was the best!! And have fun golfing on our new tradition haha.
So this week was pretty good, we havent had much success with investigators the past few weeks and so I focused and prayed for some new ones. We got a couple referrals yesterday at church and we met a lady who wants to be taught and now we have two kids on date. So hopefully before I leave this area (which will prolly be on december 14) We can have some more people on date to be baptized and a few more investigators to teach. But we did find 3 new less active families and trying really hard to get them back to church and trying to get our new converts solidified in the gospel so they don't fall away. It was funny this week cause we asked one of the new less active ladies why she is inactive and literally all I heard was blah blah blah blah blah blah...offended blah blah blah haha dang people are always offended which means that they are not truly converted so we are working with them. The best is to see the youth, I love the youth because if they can start with a firm foundation while they are young the chances of falling away are significantly less! we try to get them to work with us and the ward tries to have lots of activities for them. When they grow up I think that the church will run much more smoother here because more and more of them are being born in the church which is good and more and more want to serve missions! Time is flying and soon it will be my 6 month mark! Crazy!
Mahal Ko kayo! Masayang Thanksgiving!
Elder Robertson
elder Robertson wearing an asian hat
elder Deriada (elder Robertsons companion) in an asian hat

Sunday, November 18, 2012

WEEK 14

The weather was insanely hot this week. Even the filipinos were complaining that it should not be this hot in november.. It has been crazy the last week. But we are still working hard. So this week we just taught a lot of less actives. Other than that it was a pretty normal week except for what happened saturday. So Elder Phippens ward had a half day mission which is where the memebers go on splits with the missionaries and we teach a few less actives. So we did that and after we went to a members house for lunch. But elder phippen was not feeling to well. And he didn't eat lunch so the members were concerned. So the come out with a hot mug of water with some leaves at the bottom and said "this is an herbal remedy to cure anything." And since we americans don't really trust that stuff we were skeptical but thought it would be a cool mission story if he tried filipino herbal remedies. so he takes a sip and says it is really bitter but takes a gulp, he hates we can tell and then he asks for a cup of juice to wash it down. so he takes a second gulp. still hates it but it looks like he will be able to finish it no problem since there are only like two gulps left. so he goes for a third gulp and this time he accidentally does a double gulp. he looks like he might die from the taste but he will be ok. all of the sudden.... his whole stomach is on the floor. it was like watching a fire hose of puke. it was sooooo funny! all over the floor and then round two came out of his stomach. and then the families dogs came in and ate it all up. Funniest thing I have seen on the mission so far. It was a classic. So how is everybody? Thabksgiving is coming up and I am really going to miss eating all that food and the traditional movie. What is it going to be this year? Is it super cold there? People here are like trying to make it cold by listening to tons of christmas music, yeah they can do that all they want it still is like a bizillion degrees here. Next week should be interesting. My companion is a little trunky and hopefully he will still work hard this week. All the americans here are saying they will extend their missions for 4 years haha.
MAhAl Ko KAyo!
Elder Robertson

Sunday, November 11, 2012

WEEK 13

So it was transfers this week in the Cauayan Mission. I am still in Cataggaman area but am done with training and have a new companion, Elder Deriada he is also filipino and it should be an interesting cycle because we will have to find some new investigators. I am leading the area and it is hard because I have to do all the talking when we first get to appointments and what not and I still cannot understand a lot of what is being said but it is going fine so far. Played some bball this morning and and practicably looked like black mamba himself out there on the court. The filipinos cannot guard me cause I have an outside and inside game, all they have is drive to the hoop and throw up some weird layup and pray it goes in, sometimes it works. But americans just destroy them. I got the package this week! goldfish and granola bars are awesome! I also got grandpas package and the beef jerky was amazing!! The magazines are still the greatest thing I can get though. Gramps gave me one with every college basketball team preview and it was like 200 pages, not done yet but I read the SI really fast and will go back and read them from time to time. So this week i noticed that the 4 converts that were baptized the last two cycles have been member referrals and usually they have a member in the family or they live really close to a member. And from their example and the fact that they have just a more positive attitude makes them have a desire to be like the members. We really just clarified and guided them on what they were feeling and what they could feel and the potential that god sees in them as people and the greater purpose of life. Those are the converts that last forever. Ones who will have a friend to help them and also a responsibility, the three young men that we baptized are planning to serve missions and they have the aaronic priesthood now so we are trying to get them to bless and pass the sacrament if they show up early enough. But hopefully ericson and rowel will go on missions next year! Members are the best tool for conversion, we as missionaries only teach them for however long we are there in the area. But if the new member has a friend and a responsibility and is nourished by the good word of god (ie home teaching, visiting teaching, mutual, church etc.) falling away is not likely (President Hinckley said that). Sometimes we have to leave our bubble and talk to people. Whether they be less actives or investigators. Everyone wants a friend and the church is all about befriending everyone! We are all gods children and it is our duty as active members of the church to see that everyone gets home. Sometimes we might be rejected and a little embarrassed but that's the world. When we reach out we are scoring points in heaven which is worth an infinite times more. So this week see if you can go the extra mile and reach out to those looking for the truth or have fallen away cause as the song goes "doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure" you will really feel really good that at least you tried if you get rejected and if not rejected you could do one thing to save a wayward soul. Well that's what I have to say since not much exciting happened this week. Just here in the philippines. Have a good week everyone!
Mahal Ko Kayo!
Elder Robertson

Sunday, November 4, 2012

WEEK 12



How is everyone! It is sure an exciting week for the Cauayan Philippines Mission! President announced that we get 100 new missionaries by next year! most of those will be sisters too haha. So right now we have 148 missionaries in the mission, by next year we will have 250!! they may have to split the mission! And the philippines in general gets another 1000 missionaries by next year!! apparently this time of year there is 700 applications but this year there have been over 5000!!! So yeah the church is definitely growing here. It should be exciting! So this week we just focused on less actives and finding people to teach because tranfers are this week. So I should be staying here but I could get transferred so next week i will update you guys on that. but this week we had some fun harvesting habaling, the beetle larvae that I tried a few weeks ago. we have a less active family in our ward who does it for a living and we helped them for 4 hours, hopefully you can watch the video. and see the pictures. but lets just say doing that everyday would suck. I am definitely going to college now cause manual labor is no fun. But for one day to say that I harvested beetle larvae it was fun. We also had stake conference this week and the missionaries had to go to EVERY session and every session was two hours and always started and hour late. I would say i had a spiritual experience but the talks were all in tagalog and it was hot and i didn't feel like trying to understand what was being said...so I just fell asleep. Other than that stake conference was pretty good. And it rained a solid two days here and I was wet the whole time cause our roof leaks. And since all souls day (philippines halloween) is coming up everyone is seeing ghosts and demon possesions all over the place... apparently a sister in our zone was attacked by an evil spirit for half an hour. These people are very superstitious. There are stories all over the mish about evil spirits in apartments beig cast out by the mission president. So yeah that's whats up in the philps. Having some fun and working hard. Happy Halloween!!  Have a good week everyone!
Mahal Ko Kayo,
Elder Robertson
elder robertson harvesting beetle larvae
beetle larvae
elder robertson eating a beetle larvae

Sunday, October 28, 2012

WEEK 11

Well this week we had the four baptisms, the picture should be attatched. The one in front of me, her name is letye. then next to letye is kristine jane, then maribel, and then ericson and elder llorin. It was a really good baptism cause right before the ward had an activity so everyone just went from the activity to the baptism! hopefully ericson will serve a mission in a year. the other picture is of the three kids we baptized all getting the aaronic priesthood. hopefully they will all serve missions! However, we have no investigators now, so back to square one. We will teach a lot of less actives this week cause elder llorin gets transfered next week on the 1st. So it will be interesting to get a new compamion to see how some one else works. Time is going pretty fast right now. The philippines is starting to become home (except for the dairy products, ovens, really good food, and sports, and air conditioning) and I am starting to better communicate with the people here and working hard. I played basketball this morning, I may have bruises for a while cause filipinos have no concept of a hack. everytime i would get the ball inside 15 feet. hack hack hack hack. I still scored and swatted a few kids. there were three other americans playing and they weren't bad either. It's starting to get colder here, I actually had to turn off my fan last night even though it was still like 70 degrees or something. I can't imagine how cold it is at home. Last night we were having scripture study with a family and they were in 3 Nephi 10. And the voice of christ says 4 times to the people 'and how oft will I gather my people like a hen gathers her chicks" I took this to mean that no matter how many times we fall and no matter how far we fall christ can always bring us back into his wing of love and mercy. He is all knowing, all powerful, and all loving. he wants the best for all of us. I know that no matter how far we think we have gone, no matter how bad or lonely or guilty we may feel, he can always heal us. He can always bring us back into the fold. I read somewhere that the only thing that keeps us from being forgiven and accepting the atonement and the enabling power (see elder bednar on lds.org good talk) and the amazing gift of exaltation is...surprise! Ourselves. He is there for us, he always will be. I know that, and I have seen it here in the philippines on this mission. well thats about it for today. A interview with president Carlos tomorrow so we'll see how that goes. Take Care! Love y'all!
Elder Robertson
elder robertson, letye kristine jane, maribel, ericson and elder llorin

elder robertson and llorin with 3 boys they just baptized
 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

WEEK 10

So i got to watch conference this weekend and it was amazing! Elder Holland, Ballard, Bednar, Eyring in priesthood and Nelson (ASK THE MISSIONARIES!) were a few of my favorites but all the talks were so good! Shout out to elder oaks for mentioning the philippines! So This weekend we have 4 baptisms! It should be really fun! Our investigators have been prepared and they were all uplifted during conference so I am excited. Also this week we had president Carlos speak to us in zone conference, he asked one question. Who are you? both as a missionary and a man. he elaborated on the importance of the priesthood in missionary work and family life and how we can be successful in the field and at home after. There is just more and more emphasis on the family as evident by conference. But i was especially hit by how they always say to prepare for a mission, when I feel like I didnt really prepare, but with looking back my whole life was preparing. I am using everything I learned in Primary, Young Men, Sunday School, College, Dads.......discipline experiences. All to further the work of the lord here in the philippines. It is hard work and at times doesn't seem worth it but when i get to see someone come unto christ and be baptized makes it all worth it. I hope we are all sharing the gospel as much as we can through our example. I did'nt know how much people watch us until talking with investigators. They really do see something different in us and they want (and I quote) "glow of happiness, cheerfulness" so lets follow the counsel of our prophets and apostles and live the gospel. whoever the lady speaker that said "I'm a mormon, I know it, I live it, I love it." Anywho, I ate duck this week and full shrimp and more beetle larvae....gramps you might win cause I am getting curious about balut now and kind of want to try it. vegetables are still a challenge haha. Time is going quick! Pretty soon it will be Christmas! Well have a good week everyone!
Ingat Kayo,
Elder Robertson
elder Robertson, elder Llorin and two other missionaries

beetle larvae that elder Robertson eats

elder Robertson rode this for 2 hours it is called a tricy

Sunday, October 14, 2012

WEEK 9

It was a good here in the Philippines and an interesting one at times. We had a baptism, his name is tonton and he is 15, his cousins and sisters really helped with this kid cause they were such a good example for him and so literally all we had to do was clarify the lessons and then baptize him and then we were done! We also have a few more baptisms coming up so details with those as they get closer, hopefully we will baptize four people on the 20th. So saturday before the baptism we had a really good experience with a less active. We were teaching her and she was really old and really unresponsive and defensive to us for some reason. when it came time for the closing prayer she tried to make me say it but i wasnt about to let her. So after about 10 minutes and a lot of praying from my part and silence I felt like i should say something that i can't remember. So I said it and the tagalog felt like I spoke it forever and natural and after another minute she said the prayer. I dont know what I said but the spirit worked and she said the prayer. the spirit really works in this work and we should be worthy to have the spirit with us at all times. With this change in age for the ability to serve missions, the high school boys and 18 year old girls should all prepare to serve a mission. The spirit is certainly sensitive to us. I notice that depending on my attitude and the quality of my thoughts and keeping my focus on the work the spirit will be with me and I can speak tagalog easier. But if I am not living in accordance with the teachings of the BoM or the modern prophets. no spirit. So prepare now!! Pray in the morning and the night! STUDY the book of mormon for at least ten minutes a day. The more you are prepared the easier it will be when you actually get out here.Thats cool that boys can leave at 18 and girls at 19! Our ward should have a lot of more missionaries soon! How is everything else going? I got the manila envelope this week and the gummy bears were awesome! So I tried beetle larvae this week! they look disgusting but were just really salty and crunchy haha. We went to callao caves this week and i think some more caves next week so I might be late again. I can't wait to watch conference this weekend and listen to president carlos on thursday for 4 hours at zone conference haha. It should be a good week


 
 

 
 
 
 
Elder Llorin, Tonton, Elder Robertson
 

WEEK 8

There is no such thing as halloween here, they are just counting down until christmas..84 days is posted all over the place haha they even play christmas music all over the place! So is everyone ready for conference? this weekend you have the opportunity to listen to prophets and apostles like moses, peter, james, and john and joseph smith. We are so priveleged to live in a time where their teachings are so readily accessible. we should all take the opportunity to listen to their talks and not next month when the ensign comes out be shocked that we missed all the great things that they said. I have to wait a week and will watch it on the 13 and 14 of this month. I cant believe that september is over! that month was one of the fastest ever! if every month is like that then this mission may go by really fast. And I've been told that once you get the language down time goes even faster. so only 4 months before i actually start understanding stuff. But still people keep wanting to listen to us, either it's because I am an american or the spirit....we had four new kids listen to us this week and I can't tell if they are genuinely excited or just curious about the paleface in their country. I've spoken with a few other americans i see in mcdonalds (surprise thats where the americans go haha) and they are a little loopy and wanting to run away from their problems. So we have to separate the investigators that are genuinely interested and those who just want to see an american. so if people don't keep commitments we drop them sadly. Anyways we are still having good success and planning on a baptism almost every weekend this month. Well the work is going good. We have a meeting down in Cauayan this week so it will be another six hours of traveling on thursday and prolly another bad movie, so exciting. On saturday we had a stake activity of family day and our ward played a basketball game so I decided to join in, I was serge ibaka down low. 10 swats in ten minutes haha. the crowd went crazier than ever before my bishop said because of me cause I have been the only elder to ever play basketball with them haha. I was totally gross afterwards and soaked with sweat but it was worth it. it is fun being on a mission and even better knowing that i'll come home in two years knowing that i worked my hardest the whole time with no hot showers haha.
Elder Robertson
 
                  excerpt from the conversation we had with elder Robertson
 
Dad: Just waiting, how is it going
Elder R:  good, only had 18 lessons this week but we had a typhoon on wednesday. but nothing really bad happened and a funeral we had to go to yesterday.
Mom:  How does a typhoon look? How is a Filipino funeral? How was church today? Investigators?
 
Elder R:  dark, rainy and windy. like a feast and gambling and party. but the members are a lot more normal than I thought they would be, a lot of plan of salvation talk. 5 at church so pretty good.
Mom:  Do you have to stay inside during a typhoon? Did you get any mail!
 
Elder R:  Yeah or you get soaked in like ten seconds. no but we get mail again tomorrow so hopefully tomorrow haha
Mom:  Did you eat at the funeral? Are they big gamblers? Do you ever teach or anything at church?
 
Elder R:  Yeah just rice and noodles. They love to gamble here its nuts with a lot of money for poor people. Yeah we teach a couple kids who live a long ways away but are still in our area.
Mom:  How is your recent baptized kid doing? Whose your next baptism? 
 
Elder R:  good, he wants to go on a mission next year! next is tonton he is 15.
Mom:  So what do you do for general conference?
 
Elder R:   we go to the stake center next week to watch it so we have to wait a week.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

WEEK 7

 So the mission is realy something else. On wednesday we went to cauayan which is a three hour bus ride and when we got on they were playing the movie undisputed 4.....the most evil movie satan could throw at 6 missionaries haha luckily i had my sword of truth (the book of mormon) and my shield of faith (the name badge) with me haha.Which also made me realize that the spirit was not present on that ride due to my more sensitivity to it these days. the world is evil and only becoming more so. We must put on the armor of god, this isnt some wimpy medieval armor. this is like iron man armor. If everyone would just say their prayers twice a day and read the book of mormon for ten minutes then spiritually we are like iron man....no bullet (of satan) can penetrate our armor. when he tries to attack us we say "HA! nice try!" and just keep going like iron man does in the avengers. and like he keeps upgrading his armor, we keep upgrading our testimony when we do the simple things like go to church and repent and read and pray. Everyone wants to be like Iron Man but we can! spiritually. Christ is our engineer, he has given us all we need to build our armor and it is our choice whether to act. The fact is that christ wants us in the celestial kingdom and as long as we try our hardest he will say "it is enough" and let us in. From what I've seen here people think that "the gospel is too hard, i can't do everything and people gossip about me" no, it's not. if we are truly christlike we won't care what other people say, we know we are imperfect but we are trying. This mission has really opened my eyes to the core of the gospel, the atonement. The atonement can be studied so much for so long and i'll never fully understand it, but can be summed in up in one sentence; it can make us like christ. lets appreciate the atonement a little more by doing the little things. Well thats what I have to say because nothing much else happened this week. worked hard, taught some lessons, chased by some dogs, had an investigator chew us out cause we told him he couldnt get baptized until he got married. got invited to a funeral for this next sunday.......weird. overall its a fun place the philippines. Glad to hear it is cooling down there cause it is still insanely hot here! but typhoon season is coming.....party on! time is flying and I cannot believe that next week is october! have a good week everybody! Love you all!
Mahal Kita!
Elder Robertson

WEEK 6

How is everyone!! It was a good week here in Cataggaman area! We had a baptism!! his name is roel and he is 19, hopefully he will serve a mission next year! We had a couple investigators at the baptism. So that was good! Hopefully we have two or three the first few weeks of october! So New stuff this week investigator wise. We met this family named bucayo, they are super nice and have a lot of questions about the church and they have two kids. they are an interesting story because the dad is really interested and wants to be baptized but he wants his whole family to join, the mom is gone up north all month to teach so we are trying to refer her to the other mission but she asks a lot of questions and says she feels the spirit when we come over. the daughter is 14 and is listening to jehovahs witnesses.......the son is 8 and does whatever the dad does so it should be interesting to see if the read the book of Mormon and pray for an answer hopefully they do and they all will be baptized cause once they commit to something that family does it. Our other two investigators that will probably get baptized are Erickson, he is 19 and his sister and girlfriend are members and he reads and prays and knows it is true so we are just teaching him and waiting for October 13 and hopefully he keeps coming to church and doesn't go off the deep end. the other is TonTon. He is 15 and all his family and cousins are members and he is in the same boat as Erickson so hopefully we have two on the 13th. Members are the best way to have investigators because they already have a good influence and they have friends or family to take them to church and it is so much easier for us to teach them the gospel. If members really knew how helpful they are missionary work would move forward so much more! Pray for missionary experiences and pray to have courage to speak up. it doesn't have to be like what us full times do but a situation will present itself and if you open your mouth you will be guided by the spirit even though you may not know it. More baptisms and bringing people into the fold!So here in the philippines they have ward activities called one day missions, this where members go out with the missionaries and go visit less actives and investigators for a few hours. The sisters in our district had one and we went and it only works because like 6 people show up and they just follow us around while we teach. But we had six lessons and two referrals for the sisters so it was a good stats day cause we counted those in our weekly report. And yeah, the power just went out here for thirty minutes. it is really funny cause it does that randomly all the time here. No Place like the Philippines!!
Mahal Ko Kayo,
Elder Robertson

Elder Robertson in a tryke




Elder Llorin, Roel and Elder Robertson

Sunday, September 16, 2012

week 5

So this week was a pretty good one. I got to go on splits with elder nay and let me tell you, it was so refreshing to be with an american for a day. I could actually understand a lot of his tagalog and it gave me hope that i might be there at his point some day. from what I could understand he is a very good teacher and I enjoyed working with him. he pushes me a little harder than elder llorin cause he has been in my shoes and knows what it is like so I really enjoyed that struggle but he says i know more than he did when he was one month in. So we taught three lessons on friday and we didnt get to bed till like 11:30 cause we were partying but i had to sleep in the other elders bed and i took off his sheets and slept on my towel haha cause the beds were like twenty years old. and then we had to travel three hours to the farthest area in our zone for a baptismal interview and then another three hours back cause me and elder llorin had a baptismal interview. Then llorin and I had 4 appointments in two hours so saturday was a little tiring. Then on sunday I had to teach a lesson by myself and a priest who didnt know english cause we have to teach after church cause some people live to far away so that was a nightmare cause i cant speak this language yet but luckily she was only 9 haha. So I think that the lord is rewarding us for our hard work cause on saturday we were walking and some random guy offered us a ride and he seemed really interested to listen to us so we are going to go back to him and then yesterday we were walking and this old guy called out to us and said "elders come teach me!" so we did and gave the baptismal challenge and he said yes so yeah it might be our reward for hardwork and obedience. We have been teaching a lot of investigators recently and it is hard to fit in less actives haha which is good and hard cause we want everyone to come unto christ. But we had one girl we broke through to this week. Her name is delma and before she wasnt to enthused because of her baptist boyfriend but some random lesson about joseph smith and she finally said she prayed and said she really wants to know that our church is true and she came to church yesterday and same with her inactive family so hopefully she'll be baptized. And i realized here that noone of the women shave their legs haha. I am finally getting used to showering twice a day with a bucket and cold water with the spiders crawling around me haha i guess i'm just so tired to not even care. and elder phippen might have dengue fever, he has been sick since like wednesday so that could be bad so I am a little ocd with the bug repellent right now haha. I cant believe this month is already gone! it was a hard first month here but also a learning month an time is only going to go faster! I'm thankful to be out here in the philippines and become a real man. working hard and getting used to the culture. it gets a little easier everyday! Take care say hi to everyone. Until next week!
Mahal ko kayo!
Elder Robertson 

Excerpt from the email chat with elder Robertson

Did you guys have a good week teaching?

elder R:Yeah we had like 30 lessons, with splits and we had to travel down to a different area like 4 times cause one of the elders is sick and kept wanting us to buy groceries for him. We have two new investigators though and another 4 on date for baptism.

  That sounds like a good week.   You guys should be having a baptism next week or the week after? Any succes with the less actives in church today?

elder R:we have one this week and the next week and we had 8 investigators at church and 4 less actives so yes it was a good day at church yesterday. we have another 4 investigators on date and two hopefully three new ones so yes working hard.

Lots of good things happening, 8 at church is a pretty good number. Sounds like all the hard work is making good things happen.
Elder Robertson and Elder Llorin with their shirts we sent them

p-day with his district


Sunday, September 9, 2012

week four

So this week was good! we had 9 investigators at church yesterday! we have a date for September 15 for a kid named Roel and a date for the 22 for a guy named Mariano. The weather here is crazy it can be like sunny, hot and no clouds at 3 pm. then at 4 there will be clouds and it will start raining like nothing you will ever see in the tri cities, we had to leave an appointment cause the water was up to our ankles. Crazy!!! When I am walking around now the filipino kids all say "whats your name?"cause thats all they can say in english so I say kobe bryant and they are liked shocked for a second then they all say "oooo kobe bryant!" it's pretty funny. how is everything at home? I can't wait to hear about how school is for everyone! We taught 30 lessons this week and have been having good success with investigators, we keep finding new people to teach and so we keep having to drop less actives. its tough but there are a lot of souls to save here so i will never have a non busy moment. I cant believe it is september already! time is starting to go really fast! pretty soon it will be 2013! insane!! We havin fun and working hard! not much else to say except next week we are going to callau caves and so i'll send pics from there, hopefully this week i'll try horse and dog so i can tell you how that tastes. and I am pretty sure there are no health laws here cause i saw that you could buy vikadin in bottles for like 80 pisos (2 dollars) so if i ever get really sick or anything i might just buy that....jk. but really. anyways ask dad he has a whole conversation with me haha. say to howeird for me and tell him that his advice of getting people to the temple is really coming in handy!
Mahal Ko Kayo
Elder Robertson

In Elder Robertson's mission the missionaries are able to email back and forth with mom and dad on P-day IF mom and dad can stay up till 12 or 1 in the morning!  (Philippines is 16 hours ahead of us) Here is an excerpt from that conversation:

How are you doing?

Elder R:  Working hard, I got a cold yesterday so yeah but we had 30 lessons this week but could have had 40 but dang less actives are never home.

30 Lessons is a good week,that is a lot of teaching.  Didn't you guys have some baptisms scheduled?

Elder R:  2, a kid for the 19 and a 50 year old guy for the 22. they both seem really strong.
 How is the language coming along? Are you working well with Elder Llorin?

Elder R:  Yeah, he's easy to get along with. the language is frustrating. i feel as if it's at the tip of my tongue i just cant formalize it yet like the filipinos. they speak so fast but it is taking a lot of patience.

Thats good, we were reading the blog of Elder Nay and he had great things to say about Elder Llorin. Have you had a chance to work with Elder Nay? The language will come, it usually takes about two months for it to really start to take hold, just keep working with it and being patient. Where do you get to email from?

Elder R:  We are splitting this week, elder nay is my zone leader and he is really cool and nice. we email from an internet cafe. everyone around me is playing video games and then other missionaries.
Elder Nay will be good to work with, sounds like all the Elders are good workers. Did you feel the effects of the earthquake that hit by Manila? How is it going with the food?

Elder R:  very little, just a little shaking and thats it. elder llorin says all the americans are really hard workers. i guess he says the hardest mission is cauayan cause the area is new and still lots of jungle. the food isnt bad actually. meat that is still on the bone and rice and usually its all fatty, takes some getting used to but its not bad at all. there is some interesting stuff though ive seen.

 How big is the ward?

Elder R:  380 but only 100 go to church, and all we can do is give them the good word of god and thats it. we try to go every other day to inactives but no one is ever home and it is tough cause sometimes they actually run away to avoid us but i want to chase them down to. its tough
What did you guys do for P-day today? Isn't it about over?

Elder R:  in about two hours, pday ends at six here. we did laundry then jollibee which is like a fast food place and we still have to go to the store and get food for this week.
Do you do things as a zone on P-day? Are you mostly walking or riding in those jeepneys?

Elder R:  not yet but we are going to some caves next week, we actually ride in tricys here which are like a motorcycle with a little side car and they fit three people but ive seen seven in one. and they are not made for americans at all

Sunday, September 2, 2012

week 3

who knows how long before i get your letter and package, we get mail once a week at district meeting and i have no idea how long mail takes to get here, just remember to use us postal service cause fedex and ups are way expensive apparently. so this week was frustrating again, we got a list of fifteen names from the ward of inactives and we started visiting them, they are a pain...they are either never home or are to stubborn to take any interest in the church and we walk like half an hour to get to them and it is not fun when they are not home or reject us. investigators never read the book of mormon or pray and always make excuses...ridiculous. I am trying to find ways to have fun but it is just to hot and to tiring haha. anyways we still have three baptismal dates, i know there for sure should be two cause one kid will spend a 100 pesos to come to church if he misses his ride and the other older man keeps improving every week, now we just need to break his wife. working hard mostly. so here in the philippines i am pretty sure there are no health laws, there is this acid stuff that is pure HCL and you use it to clean dishes, i think my stomach hates me. the laundry takes forever and I am really thankful for laundry machines, but the bleach here is more powerful than the stuff at home but it also burns my skin so pros and cons. there is so much pollution about 5 minutes from my house that everytime I go there i can feel the years being taken away from my life. the best part about here is all their music and the movies they watch (all american stuff) is pirated from the internet, they have the dark knight rises here on dvd already for only 40 pesos (1 dollar) and about any other movie you can think of, it's hilarious. for foods this week i tried cooked blood which was really salty and stuff and that's about all the weird stuff. i saw a huge spider a few days ago that i have a picture of. well the work keeps going, i keep reading in the bofm on how alma and his brethren were dilligent in teaching the word and patient in all afflictions so i'm taking a leaf out of their book and just trying my hardest, one day it will come.
Mahal ko kayo,
elder robertson
this is the really big spider conner saw
 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

week two

so this week was better, i'm getting the hang of being here in the field. i tried frog legs and bananna leaves and adobo and other weird vegetables. it still is a little weird being here and eating all the weird stuff but my comp is a good cook and he makes chicken and rice for lunch so its good. so i am literally the tallest person member or nonmember in my area, everyone one is so short and i swear that 20 year olds look like they are twelve and what not and it is crazy, everyone always says stuff to me and it always has americano in it so i don't know if they are making fun of me or loving me or what but i don't really care cause i can't understand them. they all stare at me too like they have never seen a white person before but i could take any of them in bball, from the looks they never had formal training in the art of bball. i'm getting eatin alive by mosquitos and i'm using my bug repellent but they seem not to care so i just hope i don't get dengue fever. so far as work wise, we have four baptismal dates set and hopefully those investigators will pull through, one is an old guy who was really stubborn for like four months then all of the sudden when i get here he says he'll be baptized, and they understand english if i talk slow and they are just afraid to speak it so i have been using a taglish when i am testifying mostly other than that i just try to translate what everyone says to no success but it's been interesting week. walking a lot! we have like 6 or 7 appointments a day with a like 20 to 30 minutes of walking in between so yeah thats fun. and everyone drinks coke here and it's nasty even when it is warm so i have to carry water wherever i go. it rains like crazy for about half the day and some houses are really muddy to get to so yeah it's a fun mission. My area is some corn fields and ends at the bank of the river and i think follows it for a bit but idk. mostly i just enjoy reading my book of mormon and trying to bear testimony at the end of each lesson so it's going like a greenie part of the mission, i just never realised how much faith it really takes to come all the way out here, if people knew what we do for our church they would call me insane but it's worth it to see people come to know of the truth and feel the love of god change their lives. It's been exhausting, but the district meetings are fun and the bakeries are amazing and everything is so cheap here so pros and cons. so goldfish (there is no such thing as those here) in the package and more granola bars and american candy and disney or motab cds cause we can listen to music! and perhaps in the next few months could you send me a dwight howard, steve nash, and kevin durant jersey shirts? i want to see dwights and stevies names on the back with lakers in the front and durant cause he is durant. Well thats about it, hopefully you get the pictures which will say more than i ever can. i have time to read all the emails you guys send so keep that up and update me on elder bell and elder creer, i feel for elder bell. i want to know if he has to shower with a bucket and can't ever flush the toilet and has to squat over it to go number two, my legs get tired when i do that and there are ants galore in my house! i am waging and endless war against them, this place is hilariously awesome. and send mail to the mission home, it'll just take forever for me to get it. have a good week everyone!
Mahal ko kayo,
elder robertson
 
dinner


the roads

their room
 

week one

Where to begin.....So there were no problems on the flight from slc to la, normal flight and what not we landed at like 9. Once we got to la we had like a 30 minute walk to the international terminal and then had to go through customs and what not and elder phippen lost his ticket so by the time we got to the gate it was like 11:30 and there was no food stores in the international section so it was not fun. The 14 hour flight from la to hong kong was even less fun, i slept for like seven hours and the other seven read that SI and tried to not watch the avengers. it was the longest boringest thing ever. once we got to hong kong we had to go through security again and walk like a mile to our manila flight gate and had like 20 minutes before we boarded. then once we got to manila customs was way easy, nothing like costa rica. then we met some guy from the church office and all 24 of us from america split to our separate missions. Those that were going to cauayan went to the mtc for a few hours and then with the filipinos that were new we caught a bus to cauayan, we were supposed to catch the 830 but because of the monsoon we had to catch the 10 and that was the longest ride ever. we had to sit on the packed bus with people standing in the aisles for 10 hours! i tried to sleep but maybe got two hours. so getting off that bus i was in a daze and then I met the shaners and president carlos and then went through the new missionary thing and sister carlos's cinnamon rolls are really good. then there was a transfer meeting in which he assigned me to elder llorin and then all the missionaries went to some chicken and rice restaraunt which was pretty good. I'm in tuguegarao south zone in the cataggaman area and then we had a three hour bus ride to here from the mission home and by then I was so tired i could barely stand without falling asleep. luckily there were no appointments scheduled so i just slept for like 12 hours. I left the mtc on monday and 430 and got to my area on thursday at 730, the longest i have ever traveled and have never been more tired. and on friday my mission started, in the morning we have an hour of personal study, two hours of comp study because theres this new training manual in which we do an extra hour of comp study and then we have an hour of language study where i learn tagalog and elder lorrin learns english. then we have lunch then go out and work. so the work is hard of course, we walk he whole time and prolly walk 6-9 miles a day. the culture shock was more than i expected it to be, super poor and there are cows and chickens and dogs everywhere! there are few streets and houses are like piled back behind each other so we have to walk through houses to get to other houses. there are cornfields we walk through and there is no trash service so everyone burns their trash so there is smoke everywhere. No paved roads, very few cars and a lot of dirt bike things with side cars which spew out exhaust that is really bad and there are tons of them! This place is just so much different and it will take some time to get used to. the language is a joke because i have no clue what anyone is saying or what is happening unless elder lorrin translates for me. which he doesnt do often. And the heat...oh the heat. it is so hot and humid that i haven't stopped sweating since i left the mission home, there is no ac and the best i can get is when i sit right in front of the fan. I have prolly lost weight this week because of how much i sweat and no matter how much i drink i prolly can't replace enough water. so work wise there were no investigators when i first got here but now we have like 5 new ones, i have no clue who is inactive, investigating and a member, they all act the same. when we are not teaching we are walking basically and everyone stares at me cause i am the only american within miles so i just say hi to everyone and they are thrilled that they spoke to an american. food wise, i tried intestines on saturday and got ridiculously sick yesterday cause i guess they were bad and still had food that the pig ate inside of them! so from yesterday at like 4 to when i went to bed i couldnt leave the toilet or move or i'd be sick. and there is no flushing here, just taking a bucket of water and throwing it in the toilet to flush it outside into the drain. there is no shower so i shower with buckets of water and it is cold so yeah. it is really hard to be in a positive spirit because everything is just so different and i got sick my first week here and everything else and if it continues it will be a long mission. the members are of no help either, they gossip about everything! even investigators who come to church and there are kids running around in sacrament meeting like crazy and they teach false doctrine and what not, it's nuts. this has not been easy and it's really easy to think if it's even worth it being all they way out here to teach people who have no clue what I am saying, but if thousands of others have done it then so can I. How is everyone doing? that's awesome dwight howard is a laker! steve, kobe, pau, and dwight! oh boy it should be really interesting season, hopefully they'll bring home ring seventeen! I wish I could watch this next season. Almost time for school! the kids here all have to wear uniforms. hopefully everyone is doing well and glad to hear that the golf is coming along very well, I am going to be terrible when I get home, also I am going to have a really bad spine, because I have to bend over all the time to get into houses and there are no chairs with backs and no cushions. There will be a lot of asking for strength these next few weeks from me and hopefully he gives it to me. anyways, hopefully everyone is doing well and enjoying the comforts that america has. pray always and read the book of mormon. someone said that no one will ever go astray if they read the book of mormon for ten minutes everyday and pray in the morning and when they go to bed. have a good week! I forgot my camera so I'll have pictures next week and i have taken quite a few, plus i need to get a converter thumb drive so I can put my pictures on the computer. until next week!

Mahal Ko Kayo,
Elder Robertson
new missionaries

President and Sister Carlos

 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

In The Philippines

 I won't say much now, but this weekend has been crazy. I was packed saturday night and have been watching my district scramble like mad to do laundry and pack and what not. They were up until two in the morning last night and woke up at four thirty to say goodbye to a couple elders who are in our zone. Our teachers told us stories of the philippines today and it sounds like it will be crazy! They talked all in tagalog and I understood a lot of it but still have a ways to go. I am almost done with the MTC and cannot be more excited for the philippines and fast food at the airport! It will be interesting to go back into the world after nine weeks. I got all the packages and my backpack is 15 pounds of food and magazines. So I'll call tonight, hopefully everyone is having a good day!
Mahal Ko Kayo,
Elder Robertson
 
 
This next email is from sister Shaner a senior couple in Elder Robertsons mission
 
Well Hello!!!

Good morning...you are just waking up I think and it is 5 pm here. We just got finished with our Cauayan Meetings and are heading to Mallig for the evening but wanted to stop at the house and send you these pictures before we go.
I was SO thrilled yesterday to find your comment on my blog and to find out that you have been 'checking me out' since January. That is GREAT!! I have had many parents tell me that they LOVE Sister Carlos' blog because she focuses totally on the missionaries and they so often will see pictures of THEIR kids and they enjoy mine because they get a 'feel' for the mission geography, the food, the people, etc.
This morning we had the blessing of meeting a bus full of very tired Elders and Sisters from Manila and on that bus was YOUR ELDER!!! When I walked up to him to introduce myself, he said 'you are Elder and Sister Shaner, right?' SO fun! What a fantastic young man. You have a jewel in your family and for the next two years, we have YOUR jewel in ours.
He looks great, a little tired but that will pass quickly. His enthusiasm for a mission is so refreshing. Some get off that bus after the brutal flight, the not-so-restful day, not eating right, aching and stiff and they are less than anxious to get into the work but not your Elder Robertson-he hit the road running.
I must tell you about his trainer-I have attached some pictures for you and one is of him with his trainer, Elder Llorin [pronounced lore-EEEN]. We had the privilege to work with Elder Llorin in Mallig a few months back-if you look back to maybe March, April you will find pictures of he and Elder Nay on my blog. When the new companionships were announced in the transfer meeting today I actually jumped and cheered with they announced that assignment-my hubby put his hand on my leg and sssshhhhh-ed me!! haha!
Elder Llorin is the most gentle and sweet soul-he is a little older and more mature which is great! He also speaks perfect English which will be so great for their companion language study. He is a patient guy and a little quiet but has such a strong testimony. I was with him his first week in the mission and he was bold and shared many messages with investigators. He is a marvelous cook and impeccably clean. I think they will get along just great! Elder Llorin will be Elder Robertson's tatay [daddy] and will take care of helping him get a great start on the next two years. He is an incredibly obedient Elder...a very important trait to stress to his 'son'.
I am happy that you allowed your son to serve the Lord and am very grateful the Lord sent him here to the greatest mission on earth! President and Sister...well, I can't even explain how wonderful they are and how they love and revere their missionaries. He is in safe hands for sure.
Elder Robertson in Cuayan, Philippines

Elder Robertson Talking to Sister Carlos, mission presidents wife


Elder Robertson and companion Elder Llorin
Sister Cheri Shaner

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Last Week In The MTC

 So travel plans, I leave at 4:30 pm on monday afternoon from the MTC and i fly from salt lake to LA at 8:20 and should be at LA at 9:20. I then have a four hour lay over in LA and leave LA at 1:30 in the morning. 14 hours later on wednesday morning I arrive in hong kong, have a two hour layover and ten fly to manila. That's all I know for now but the bus ride will be anywhere from 8-12 hours. so I'll prolly be in the philippines on thursday of next week. I am excited that elder cook will be in my mission the end of august and that will prolly be my first zone conference so that will be cool, you'll have to try out the pouch mail and just sending a letter and see which one is fastest, but I will have longer in the field to email so you guys can send emails. On sunday we had a guy who was managing director of missionaries for the church speak to us and that was pretty good, he spoke about alma and the sons of mosiah and how they became effective missionaries. But after i watched a talk called missions are forever given by elder holland and that was really good, he said that when we are set apart as an elder, we are as close to apostolic as we will ever get unless we are an actual apostle, so he said that if we have an opportunity to be apostolic and as it says in D&C prophets to those who listen to us, we should not waste any time and should serve with no regrets. he said that we need be completely obedient and get rid of the things of this world. He went in to describe that if we do then we will be like the sons of mosiah and of the nephi in helaman and be able to teach wih power and authority. He described what happened to almaa and that when the angel visited him that he was so astonished that he was struck dumb for three days. then he said very forcefully that we need to astonish people, we need to be bold, forthcoming, and excited to teach repentance and faith. So as to astonish our investigators. He also siad why it is hard for investigators to accept and live the gospel, because salvation is hard. people grow up thinking that just grace saves them but that is not we believe, we have to walk through gethsemane and up to the cross, we will have suffering moments and moments of tears and anguish but we have to be strong because jesus was strong. then he said the bigest disappointment is when missionaries come home and fall away because they just don't get why they were out there and that the gospel is really hard to live but the atonement gives us strength to move forward. He also said if we really convert ourselve for two years then we have had a successful mission even if we did not bapize anyone else. So that's what I can work on for two years, converting myself. It is about to get a whole lot harder come wednesday or whenever i get to my mission but let it come and i am going to let it strengthen me and truly convert me. well keep sending letters and what not, prolly monday at noon will be the last time i get the mail here in america, I'll send letters before i leave and hopefully email once more. Have a good week!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Week 7 inThe MTC

On sunday night I got to watch a talk by elder bednar called recognizing the spirit and he answered the question "how can I recognize the spirit?" in the best way possible i think. he said, "Quit worrying about it, be a good boy or a good girl, keep your covenants, follow the commandments and press forward working hard with faith. then the spirit will be able to talk to you." he then went on to explain that the spirit talks to us and we may not even notice it at all, we will do something and not know why but always with hindsight we will notice that it was the spririt talking to us. such a good talk and I wish you could all hear the whole thing, he told some really cool stories and he is so funny outside of conference. After i thought back to when dad and i were looking for pams car. dad you had no clue where to go and she gave a very vague description on where she could of left it, but what i know was the spirit, we were guided right to it and that guy just happened to be there when we needed him, that ain't no coincidence. Also when i teach, I literally just open my mouth and i have noticed that my tagalog is best when in a lesson, i don't really get strong feelings on what to say or anything, i just listen to the investigator and open my mouth and it is filled like it says in D&C 100 (i think). Also this morning I found a cool analogy between repentance and christs atoning weekend. So sometimes we have to step in gethsemane and feel the pain for doing wrong and we will be pressed down and feel lower than anyone. We might be mocked or ridiculed for what we have done like christ was, we will have to carry our cross to the hill like christ did and then sometimes when we confess, our sins are hoisted up for everyone notice and then we feel even more pain for what we have done. And after we have sunk to the lowest pits and felt the worst pain and guilt, then the natural man to commit those sins dies just like christ died. Then our heart changes and we bury the natural man in us. Then sunday comes and we are renewed. We partake of the sacrament and we fully feel the atonement work, then will the bands of sin be broken and although they may be as scarlet (like all the blood christ shed) they will be as white as snow (christ wore pure white when he was ressurected) Sunday always comes. Although repentance should always be happening we should continue to press forward with faith and try to be better cause then the atonement can work within us. I have found that my analogy part of my brain has been working full time and I have come up with tons of analagies while here, some simple so I can teach investigators. others more complicated for full members and for district lessons and such. Anyways, I get my travel plans on friday!
Mahal ko kayo,

Elder Robertson