Thursday, May 15, 2014

Week 87

May 11, 2014
Hey fam!
So here it is. the last week. The last two years has been quite the
experience. Lots of ups and downs. Lots of lessons learned. All rolled
into one little black badge with the name Jesus on the front. It has
been such a privilege and a blessing to be serving and sharing the
gospel with the people here in the Philippines. Beforehand when yall
ask how was my mission this is how it was "It was the best two years
but took place on the other side of heaven but hotter and no ocean."
It really was like that. At different times in my mission I felt like
all 4 of the elders in "The Best Two Years". But its been good.
Definitely been the hardest two years of my life so far. It pushed me
to my limits mentally and spiritually for sure. The walking wasn't too
bad just the fact that it is so hot makes it hard. It really showed me
what kind of person I am and I noticed things that I need to change. I
feel like I have definitely grown and become a better person than I
was when I left. I finished the Book of Mormon for the last time of my
mission. By my count the BoM has 3901 references to Jesus Christ,
Lord, God, and any other title of His, that's like 7 times per page He
is mentioned. He is directly quoted in 723 verses and there is a
direct reference to the atonement in 103 verses. There is no way
Joseph Smith could have pulled this book out of a hat. It is just as
true as it is today as it was back then. I am grateful for the
opportunity I have had to really study the scriptures. I really took
them for granted before and I really want to keep the habit of
personal study every day when I get home. That and personal prayer. I
did that at home but not so much with the real intent part. I really
learned to pray with real intent out here. Cause I couldn't get by on
anything less haha. I could go on and on about lessons I learned from
my mission but I will save it for my homecoming talk. Anywho, I will
see yall next thursday at 2:30!!! Have a great week and a half
Love, Elder Robertson

Monday, May 5, 2014

Week 86

May 4 at 9:42 PM
Hey Fam!

This week was more of the same. We taught lots of less actives and a
few investigators. The weather here is weird right now. It will be
crazy hot and sunny until about 4 in the afternoon then the storn
clouds roll in and it will rain like crazy starting at about 6. The
rain cools down the place which is nice so i can sleep better at
night. But it brings out the mosquitos. i am getting bit like crazy. I am trying though to avoid a repeat of last year where I got dengue
fever my last week in my second area so i am using lots of bug spray
to avoid that. Other than that it is just finishing strong! I will
prolly finish the book of mormon for the last time on my mission this week. Its hard not to think about coming home cause my comp tells everyone i am coming home when we sit down to teach them. The members are more trunky than I am!
Well have a great mothers day next week! Have a good time skyping Kelci! I will just see yall in a few weeks haha its a pain to find a place where the internet is fast enough and has headphones that I can use to skype haha. Love yall!
Elder Robertson

Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 85

Apr 27 at 10:38 PM
Hey Fam!
Well, its May this week.......holy moly the last month haha. This week was ok. We taught quite a few lessons and worked on finding. we are trying to go back to former investigators to try to teach them again. And less actives.
The branch had a branch council this week. They spent quite a while trying to figure out what they can do help less active return. I suggested a branch activity. They eventually came up with the idea of having the branch council and their families visit 15 less active families and have a family home evening with them in the less actives house. To me a branch activity would be cheaper and all the less actives could go and so could all the active members but its their branch not mine haha anywho.
It was crazy hot this week. like so hot that at night i slept with no sheets my fan on the highest setting and still woke up sweating.  Man I thought i may get used to the heat. Wrong. it has been constant sweat for about two years now. I am so done with it haha. Well thats all i have to say.
Have a good week everyone!
Elder Robertson

Monday, April 21, 2014

Week 84

April 20, 2014

Hey fam!
So last week for pday was amazing! we went to manila! We had to get
our fingerprints for those of us leaving the country in may. So it was
me, my mtc comp and another missionary who all went. It was great! We
ate ihop and pizza hut and 7-11 and wendys and krispy kremes and
cinnabon in the 24 hours that we were there. It was depressing to come
back to rice and hot dogs for dinner haha. I wrote out my last two
letters on paper but they are really long so i will just give some
Conference was amazing. Great talks! Elder Holland's, the olympic guy,
Uchtdorf on gratitude, Monson mentioning jabari parker, the guy about
not saying mean things, Eyrings baseball one and Bednars spiritual
loads were my favorites. I made some goals to be 1. grateful of
circumstances not things. 2. Don't complain or get angry 3. Pray with
more real intent. Really spiritually uplifting for me that conference.
This week we had a zone conference about the Book of Mormon and
Easter. Also very spiritual. President talked about Joseph Smith and
the Book of Mormon then Christ and the Book of Mormon. He points out a
lot of details that I have never thought about. Then He and Sis Rahlf
shared about the last week of Christ's life. Very spiritual, very good.
They just talked about His last week and really just narrated the New
Testament but they are such good speakers the spirit was so strong! I
really learned out here that the impression of the spirit cannot be
denied. It really is true what it says in Luke 16 "no man having put
his hand to the plough and looking back is fit for the kingdom of
God." You really can't cause you can't deny the spirit you felt. you
can make excuses that it was just something about something but you
can't deny it. That is a big part of what happened to me these two
years. That foundation of faith has really become deeper. I can't say
like Elder Holland that I know Jesus is the Christ more so than he
knows that the 20,000 people are sitting in front of him. That was
something else. and Packer straight up saying I know Christ. those are
giants among men. I'm not there yet. But I can say i am more fully
converted than I was two years ago. Well those were the highlights!
Have a good week! 4 weeks na lang!!
Love, Elder Robertson

My favorite part of Zone Conference: this is an Elder Holland quote: "'Why is this so hard President?'  I have thought about this a great deal.
I offer this as my personal feeling.  I am convinced that missionary
work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience.
Salvation never was easy.  We are the Church of Jesus Christ, this is
the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head.  How could we believe it
would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him.  It seems
to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a
few moments in Gethsemane.  Missionaries and mission leaders have to
take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.  I'm not
talking about anywhere near what Christ experienced, that would be
presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and
investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know
something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token
of that same price.  For that reason I do not believe missionary work
has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that continued
faithfulness is.  I believe it is supposed to require some effort,
something from the depths of our soul"

Church is true!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 83

April 13, 2014
Hey fam, don't wait up for me. Goin to manila!!!! I'll explain when I
get the chance but its nothing bad haha. Maybe tomorrow when I get
back I will email haha. Love yall!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 82

Hey Fam!
So we went to some waterfalls today. Waterfalls meaning a trickle of
water falling down rocks haha. It actually wasn't that bad. I would
take pictures but my camera broke haha. We had to take a tricy to the
mountains then hike up them for an hour or so. Made me want to swim

so bad. Only 6 weeks! Is the weather looking up there? Or is it still cold. I also went to a career workshop on Thursday for those of us who are going home in April and May. It was good, they just talked for six hours on how we can use skills from the mission in getting a job and what not. I learned a few things. But it was mostly for the Filipinos and getting them a good job.
We worked this week but not much happened. It was the Mallig fiesta. So a lot of people were involved in that and of course more farming. just tough. Just finishing strong. Have a good week everyone!! 
Do you guys want any souveniers from here? tell me if you want anything and I will hook you up.
Love yall!
Elder Robertson

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Week 81

March 30, 2014
Hey fam!
It was insanely hot here this week. I thought I was used to the heat 

here then this week happened. Not used to it. Basically this week 
we spent more finding. We have almost tracted the whole area 
which is impressive cause it is a big area (walking wise) Everyone 
is still busy in their fields and don't really care to listen right now. 
We had a few lessons where I could tell the people could care less 
about the message. they just want more money. I even had one 
guy think that I am a treasure hunter and he tried to sell me some 
World War 2 forks haha he said he dug them up in the mountains. 
It was funny. Well I'm working hard finishing strong. Its a little 
hard to believe I only have 7 weeks left. Its like running a race 
but I can't see the finish line cause there is still a big hill to 
climb haha. 
Love yall!
Elder Robertson

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 80

Mar 23 
Hello Family!
Same ol same ol this week.  We did have one bright spot though this week. This one member who is awesome. Tatay (which is like a respectful term for old people) Gudinez who is a stud and has given and helped us teach everyone who lives close to him. We were finally able to teach his wife! There is potential here and tatay can help her come to church and keep commitments and what not. Hopefully she will be baptized. I really want this one because he is such a solid convert of a year and he just went through the temple for the first time and it would be so awesome if his wife joined him. We will see what happens. Other than that it is teaching less actives and investigators who aren't progressing. Good stuff. The branch did have their first ever branch council meeting yesterday! That was quite an experience. Basically we got up there and said who we visited and what they could do to help then they talked about their Easter activity for an hour and how that will affect their budget. It's a start. Just makes me miss wards and meetings and stuff like that. But that's about it for this week. I am working on cooking filipino dishes so I can make it for you guys when I get home. Maybe in like July, haha I want a break from rice. I think you guys will like filipino food. Its good stuff. Just they have about 5 things they eat. Sinigang their version of soup. Adobo. Fried fish and chicken. Chicken curry and leaves from the tree. Seriously, they take whatever plants and throw it with vinegar and soy sauce and let it cook for 5 minutes then put it over rice. boom. a meal. Ya i am tired of those 5 things haha. I want a burger. Well take care ya all. 
Love ya!
Elder Robertson

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 79

Mar 16 at 10:12 PM
Hey Family!
Davis Happy late Birthday! Hope it was great and only a year from double digits haha.  Well.........this week was pretty much the same as the last few weeks. We were looking for new investigators and we were able to teach people for the first time but we really have trouble to get back in the second time. So we visit a lot of less actives cause of the 400 members in this branch only 50 or 60 go to church so we have plenty of work to do in strengthening the branch. I would rather get less actives to return rather than baptize and then go less active right away. A serious problem with retention here. So we working on getting members to fellowship better here. Other than that just working haha. President Rahlf wants us all to read the Book of Mormon before the next zone conference in may so I started over again. He wants us to highlight every time it mentions Christ's name or he is quoted or references to his life, mission, death, and resurrection. So I am doing that. So far it is a pretty colorful book. I am writing at the bottom of every page how many times it mentions a name or title of Christ. It is quite often. But that is about it haha. 9 weeks..... Thanks for all the support! Have a great week everyone!
Love, Elder Robertson
President had a cool spiritual thought I thought you guys might like:
In a book entitled “God’s Mirror,” inspirational author Max Lucado shares the amazing rescue story of an American naval officer named G.R. Tweed.  Tweed had been serving on the island of Guam during WWII, when the Japanese overtook it in 1941.  He escaped into the jungle and survived there for nearly three years.  Late in the day on July 10, 1944, he spotted an American battleship.  Positioning himself on a cliff, he pulled from his pack a small mirror and began sending signals.  Holding the mirror in his hands, he reflected the sun’s light in the direction of the boat with the dot-dot-dot, dash-dash-dash, dot-dot-dot code that spelled SOS.  A sailor on the ship saw the distress signal, and within minutes a boat was sent to rescue Tweed. 
   How grateful he must have been to have that mirror, and to know how to use it.  And how fortunate that the mirror cooperated.  “Suppose it hadn’t,” writes Lucado.  “Suppose the mirror had resisted, pushed its own agenda.  Rather than reflect a message from the sun, suppose it had opted to send its own?”  What if it had been an insecure mirror?  “What if I blow it?  What if I send a dash when I’m supposed to send a dot?  Besides, have you seen the blemishes on my surface?  Self-doubt could paralyze a mirror.  So could self-pity.  Been crammed down in that pack, lugged through the jungles, and now, all of a sudden expected to face the bright sun and perform a crucial service?  No way.  Staying in the pack.  Not getting any reflection out of me.” (from God’s Mirror, Max Lucado)          
            What a good thing that Tweed’s mirror didn’t act on its own!  Instead, as an instrument in his hands, it was the critical means of his rescue.  That mirror matches exactly what we do in our service as the Lord’s missionaries.    As we let ourselves become “mirrors” in His hands, we reflect and share His message and we become the critical means in the saving and rescue of His children.  And as such valuable instruments, we understand that we are on His errand, that we lose our life to find our life, and we know that it’s not about us; it’s all about Him.
            It is both powerful and humbling to be an instrument in the hands of God.  Ammon expressed this when he said, “And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.  I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.  Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.” (Alma 26: 3, 11-12)
            We are so grateful for each one of you, and pray that we may all go forth this week seeking to be instruments in the hands of God, reflecting his light and love to all we come in contact with, sharing His message of hope and feeling joy in His work.  We could not be in a better place, than to be in His hands.
“And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer. And how blessed are they!  For they did publish peace; they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth.”  (Mosiah 27: 36-37)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 78

March 9, 2014
Hey Fam!
This week was good. We taught a bunch of lessons, mostly to less actives. And really looked for some new investigators. We are in like the dog days of finding. We can teach people once but then they won't want to listen again so they hide or tell their kids that no one is home. Kinda funny haha but tiring when it just happens over and over and over again. We did have a less active come to church for like the first time in four years which was cool. That was unexpected but but cool. I hope she enjoyed being back. But otherwise just a working week really. Not much else to say. Working hard. Finishing strong. My camera is still broke. trying to find a place to get it fixed. Well thanks for all your support and everything! Love yall!
Elder Robertson

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 77

Mar 2

Hey Fam!
So this week I got a new companion. His name is Elder De
Guzman and he has been out almost a year. He is a hardworker and
hopefully we can have some good success the next few months. He is
from Alicia which is in the mission boundries. He got called to his
home mission, he was in a different place when he did his papers and
then got called here. kinda funny. He speaks fluent ilocano so half
the time I have no idea what he is saying to people. kinda like being
new again. But he is cool and we get along just fine. So our
investigator family, the franada family. the dad was shot. so he has
been in the hospital for a while. but he is fine and hopefully we can
start teaching them again soon. other than that we are in
finding/trying to get new investigators to come to church mode. We
have lots of less actives to teach but not many come to church cause
they are all in their bukids (fields) a lot. But just keep going.
Working on the Book of Mormon. Lots of times the Lord does if/then
statements. Other than that just being a missionary.

Elder Robertson


Monday, February 24, 2014

Week 76

Feb 23 at 8:20 PM
Hello Family!
This week was ok, we just worked and did our part.  We were able to find a couple of new investigators. It's a mom and her college age son. There is a dad but he is always busy and another brother but he doesn't want to listen. The mom's dad was a member for like 10 years and always went to church in Tuguegarao, my last area, and she wondered about why he was so faithful and what do mormons believe but then she moved out here and forgot all about it until they met a member that roomed with the kid at school. So we were invited over with the member and were able to teach. They have potential, they asked questions and actually talked during the lesson which was nice. They are more likely to get baptized if they talk and ask questions. That was the highlight work wise this week.
I did finish the October conference issue for like the third time this week. I really enjoy reading conference talks over and over and highlight in different colors each time. I really get a different feel of the messages each time. Like reading the Book of Mormon, I get something new out of it every time I read it. I started it again this week and am almost through 1 Nephi. This time I am going for specific advice that they give. Like challenges to improve and stuff like that. Like there is a challenge in 1 Nephi 1: 20. Nephi says to seek the tender mercies of the lord. So I have been writing stuff like that in my little study journal and trying to work on that. I hope to finish before I come home. This week is transfers and so I will get a new companion this week. Elder Pawin was a good comp and I really enjoyed being with him. This could be my last comp of my mission so ya haha. Go bombers! Go Tar Heels! Go Lakers! Thanks for all the support everyone!
Love, Elder Robertson

 "killed this thing in our apartment. took like an hour to find it haha we killed two of them like this this week. epic."
Elder Pawin and Elder Robertson

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Week 75

Feb 16 at 8:30 PM
Hello Family!
So this week not much happened. We must of got lucky last week cause we worked just as hard this week and had about half as much work to show for it. There was the lowest amount of people at church in my entire life yesterday, there were 25 people.
I am gonna try to finish the book of mormon before I finish my mission. I will start over this week and finish it in three months which shouldn't be too bad. I've read the book of mormon like 7 times now while I have been out here and I have no doubt that it is true. The church is definitely true and what not. Its just people really annoy me sometimes. That is the hard part about the mission. adjusting to the culture and obedience just takes a little self discipline. But people have their free agency and that is out of my control which annoys me and frustrates me to no end. But I have to deal with it. And not complain. 
Have a good week everyone! Love yall!
Elder Robertson

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 74

Hello Family!
That snow looks so fun! I remember when church was canceled one time then we shoveled The Hills and hooky bobbed on bro Henry's cop car. It was awesome.
So this week was good. We were able to teach a lot more less actives because they are done planting rice and we had 6 or 7 come to church! Our investigator family unfortunately wasn't available so we weren't able to teach them. But we found a whole bunch of new less actives and were able to teach them so that was good.
Interviews with president were good. He talked about staying motivated and enduring to the end. He mentioned three kinds of motivation; 1. Fear 2. Reward 3. Love and told me to just keep being motivated for the right reasons especially now. It was a good interview and will help me stay on the right track for the rest of my mission. He is a good president. Having two mission presidents is interesting because their styles are just totally different. President Carlos was a great president and he really liked to get to know the elders maybe cause the mission was 150 missionaries smaller. President Rahlf is a great president and has made the mission more........streamlined? President Carlos liked missionaries in the mission to get to know each other so he would have departure firesides (for the going home missionaries) and transfer days where all the missionaries would go to Cauayan for the day. President Rahlf has cut all that out and tried to keep everyone focused on the work. It's been different but I like both presidents and they both have taught me so much.
Well that's about it for this week. Happy Valentines day by the way haha. those brownies/cupcakes that someone made with the peanut butter heart in the middle are amazing! I can only eat one cause it is such a sugar rush haha can't wait to fix that. Thanks for all your support! have a great week and build a snow fort for old times sakes haha.
Elder Robertson
P.S. my camera broke. so until I can get it fixed (3 zones away) i won't be able to send any pictures

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 73

Hello Family!
So this week things started to look up! We had a zone conference on wednesday and it was way good. President talked about the hastening of missionary work and what it means for us....basically the members should work harder. But he also talked about joseph in egypt and lessons we can learn from him. Of course we all know the story of joseph but how hard would it be if we were in his shoes?? getting sold as a slave by his brothers. getting thrown in jail for something he didn't do and staying there for like 7 years. But he lifted where he stood in the words of President Uchtdorf. He became chief of potiphars slaves. he became the best prisoner. and then he was rewarded. he became number two in all of egypt. I wondered if the prediction by his dream way early in his life that he would be a ruler over his brethren, I wonder if he ever got discouraged and thought that it would never come true. He is a very good example of perseverance. He had the faith to keep going and even when it was hard he stood as a pillar of righteousness. A good zone conference. 
So this week people finally started finishing planting their rice. so we got to teach some good lessons and get in touch with our investigators again. Now we just need to get them to church so we can get them towards baptism. It may be a while but we can get them going. Thats about it though. just life in the mission haha.
We have interviews with president so I will tell you how that goes and how the work is. Thanks for the support and all the letters!
Love yall! 
Elder Robertson

Monday, January 27, 2014

Week 72


No letter.  Evidently not much going on but Conner is alive and well.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Week 71

Hello family!
yes mom, I did not write last week because I had to go make a chocolate cake. it took a while so we had to finish emailing early. but it was a delicious cake and we took it to a FHE in the zone leaders area. They really liked it. Well still here in Mallig with Elder Pawin. It should be a good cycle. I really like him and we get along well. Hopefully we can baptize that family we have been working with. we haven't been able to teach them this week. they are always gone. just hope they aren't hiding from us cause that would be depressing. Anyways. I want to cook more this cycle so when I get home we can have a filipino day where we wash clothes by hand and go without toilet paper when we wipe and bucket showers hahahaha I am gonna teach ya'll how to be a real filipino haha. work this week was slim pickins. everyone is in their rice fields still so we walked around some more and tried to find people. not much goin there but oh well, just got to keep going. Hey! I turn 21 this week! thats a weird thing to think about. Maybe I will buy a lottery ticket when I get home......haha jk i still can't rent a car though until I am 25. Whats the point of being 21 if you can't rent a car? Well thats about it for this week. I want the seahawks to win the super bowl. I hope they can pull it out this year. peyton might be too good though. Thanks for all the support! Love yall!
Elder Robertson

Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 70

January 12, 2014
Either it was a slow week for Conner or after 18+ months on your mission you feel you don't need to email your parents anymore.
He is good though.  Actually, his comp got a foot infection and was laid up most of the week.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Week 69

Hello Family! 
2014 at last! It should be a pretty good year.  Its getting hot again. This week was tough work wise. First, new years literally everyone was drunk so not much was done. Then the rest of the week people were planting rice. The way they do it here is they get all their friends to help them so like everyone is in their fields planting from sunrise to about 5. then they all go to bed at about 8 so we have like a three hour time window of good solid work. Other than that we just walk around and try to find people at home. Or go visit members if they are home. It will be like this until february i guess from what people tell me. I would like to help them plant rice but it is against the mission rules to because elders would get sick and nasty infections back in the day. But We'll work with what we are given. New years was crazy, it sounded like war. Fireworks here are like sticks of dynamite cut into different sizes then either wrapped in wrapping paper and lit or launched into the air. bombs. It was loud. Other than that just life in the philippines. My birthday is this month, weird I will be 21. Thats about it for this week. Have a great week everyone! 
Love, Elder Robertson