Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Disfrunten Naranjito... Yeah!


So this is the third email... maybe I should send pictures more often...

1. We were way up in the mountains and all the people are indigiounous. This is how the women dress.

2. Me cold with the ruins in the background.

Elder Robinson

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Entre de Navidad y Año Nuevo... :)

Family and Friends,

I don´t have a ton of time to write... I was sending you all pictures. But I really wanted to wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR.

I was in Guayaquil today trying to buy some things so that I could listen to the really cool music my mom sent me. A guy tried to sell me some speakers for $18, I told him I would keep looking. $15. Nope, I will not spend more than $10. Please! Please! Please! $13, no less. Sorry bud.

Moral of the story: I walked away with my speakers for only $10. He was a little sad but... I know they have been used before and in the markets of Guayaquil I would not be surprised if everything has been previously stolen.

We saw these amazing masterpieces of art. At this time of year everyone has Manaquines, and for New Years they will burn them ALL. I hear that at midnight the first of January it is impossible to sleep in Guayaquil. Good thing I am an hour and a half away.

I had the great time talking to my family this week. Mary as well. I am so glad that I was invited to Michelles Marriage Lunch. Please save me a seat in the back, I should be a little late.

I wanted to ask if anyone has seen some GREAT american movies. Please, don´t ever be ashamed to tell me if you have.

I love being a missionary and as this New Year starts I am going to go to work with ALL my might, heart, mind, and strength. I really would not have it any other way. Why else be a missionary?

I love you all,

Elder Robinson

Picture: One of those really cool things they burn newyears night... they look like whatever they want them too... people, movies, the hulk, Obama...

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Disfruten Naranjito otra vec!

Hey All!

More fun filled pictures.

1. Our nametags before the baptism.

2. Gomez Troya, married with CTR rings (thanks mom!)

3. My district up in the mountains. Really cool trip.

4. The waterfall that we hicked to. There are 7 in the picture. This was a really cool trip, rain, an Elder fell in the water (accident)... cool trip!

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Naranjito Disfruten!

Family and Friends,

Here are 3 images from Naranjito.

1. Familia Gomez Troya. Happy as can be, just married.

2. Familia Garcia. The mother was baptised. Isabel. Happy as can be, just before baptism.

3. Our chaple. Nicer than our chaple in the states. I like it. Happy as can be, in Naranjito.

 NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Navidad de Ecuador

Family and Friends, Those who are back in the States, and who ever else likes to read long letters from missioneries (wow, I can´t spell that word),

Shout Out: Isabel Garcia. I forgot that we baptised her 2 weeks ago. She is absolutely amazing and I am so glad she was baptised. She is the last person in her family to be baptised and I hope to see them in the temple next year. Go NARANJITO!

My Week:

Miracle 1. We are trying to get a family married, so that they can be baptised. They are old, and both of them are in their 70´s (but people age different here so they act like they are 90). Anita Troya wants to be baptised really bad and has been going to church since our first meeting (she walks herself there).

As such my companion and I have been in Milagro the past few days trying to get all the paperwork done for them. We almost had it done when the power went out one day... the next day we returned only to have the mean bald guy tell us that we could not access their information because we were not THEM. (Ecuador does not have privacy laws...)

We had been praying all day for a miracle... and we had one.

My companion turned to me and said,"They can´t be baptised, we will never get them to Milagro to get their paperwork."

I said, "Lets go talk to the boss."

We did. He is a kind gentleman of about 70 years with greying hair. We had met him the day before in a plesent meeting. We walked into his office and we said,

US "Hey, we are the missionaries who you spoke with yesterday.

HIM "I remember."

US "We are trying to get a family married and they live in Naranjito and they are really really old. We need their Datos de Affiliacion."

HIM "You can get those in Naranjito I believe."

US "No, they sent us here."

HIM "Then what is the problem."

US "That bald guy that works for you said that they had to come in and get the information for their proper selves."

HIM "Hmm... is that so."

US "Yes."

HIM "Here is my signature. He should not be a problem for you."

We thanked him and left. We went to go talk to the bald guy.

Bald Guy "Sorry. I will not give you the information."

US "Ok, but whose signature is this?"

Bald Guy "(Pause)...do you have 2 dollars?"

Familia Gomez-Troya will be married tomorrow or Wednesday and Anita will be baptised with Maria January 2nd.

Miracle 2.

We had another family tell us that they want to be baptised but they are not married. They told us that they don´t want to be married and that there was nothing more we could do for them. We dropped them as investigatores.

They were at church.

After church he called us over (he has 60+ years) and asked "So what papers do I need to be married and can my children be at the City Building for the marriage?"

We are working on their papers now. They will be baptised in January.


I love you all and I am hoping that you all will have the most wonderful time of year. I promised last week that I would send pictures this week... but the computer is not accepting my camera right now... next week.

Family, I mailed a letter home for you and someone else. Please take care of the letters.


Os amo mucho,


Elder Robinson

 NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Saturday, December 19, 2009



A friend sent me an email to vew a video and she just sent me this email: 

"I have some bad news, I signed up to look at a friends video and it took me to the " woome" web site.  I cancelled right away, but it already notified everyone in my email. I'm really sorry."

Therefore:  don't go to the "woome" site.  I'm sorry if it has continued on.


Monday, December 7, 2009

It´s in the singing of a street corner choir...

Amados familias y amigos,

Shout Out: Dad, Ann, Spencer, Jeff... and all of you that are still in school and preparing for finals. Best wishes to you. Study hard. Pray. Good luck!

Mi Semana: (...its going home and getting warm by the fire...)

So if I had to truely describe Naranjito in a way that everyone could understand: Cokeville WY. There is just something about being in the middle of nowhere, dirt roads, open fields, and cows that just makes it feel like WY and Cokeville. Naturally it is a little more green than WY, but it is HOT, Dusty, and quite dry. Thus... Cokeville WY.

This week we had a lot of fun going places. We went to San Fransisco, Milagro, Guayaquil, San Carlos, and the Bridge of NOWHERE.


San Fransisco: There is a family of members that live here. The problem is that they live in the middle of nowhere, 30 minutes away, and did I mention that it was in the middle of nowhere? They live in the fields, their neighboors are family and then their next neighbors are 10 minutes away in the next field.

Milagro: Why not? Actually, we just have to travel through it. We really weren´t there.

Guayaquil: We had Zone Conference this week. Zone Conference for Milagro y Truinfo is in Guayaquil. I don´t really know why, I think it is easier for the President. For us... 1.5 hours of travel. A veces 2 hours of travel.

Zone Conference was a blast. I saw Elder Thayne and Elder Peterson. Two Elders that I have not seen since my first day here in Ecuador (I lived in the MTC with them). I still have yet to see Elders Johnson and Sawyer, though rumor has it that Sawyer is really sick and has been for months. I don´t think he will be leaving Guayaquil soon, if at all during his mission (and then there is me... who has yet to serve in Guayaquil).

I learned a TON in Zone Conference. I can´t really describe it all, but it is always a great experience to learn from the President and the Assistents. The Area Presidency is different here in South America. There is a New Presidency and they have established the rule that before baptism a person only needs to go to Sacrament Meeting 2x... this is new for us. 3x was the rule before. YEAH! More people to baptise! This will be interesting to see how this affects the mission.

San Carlos: This is the town next to our town of Naranjito. San Carlos has no Elders, they were taken out and San Carlos was closed because there was no success (small towns can be rough on missionaries). San Carlos is part of our sector. We have lunch there every Wednesday. Wednesday we were going to have an intercambio with the District Leader, but because he lives 2 hours away we have a meeting point: the Bridge to Nowhere (it actually has a name, but it is in the middle of nowhere.)

Bridge to Nowhere: My companion and I left for the bridge at about 9:30 in the morning. We have to take 2 busses to get there. at 10:30 we arrived at the bridge to nowhere. We got off of our bus and sat under the man made shelter that sits at the crossroads of two highways. We watched busses go by, cars, police... every now and then there were people with us waiting for busses... we talked, we tried to share our message, we memorized scriptures... for 3 hours. We decided that the District Leader was not going to show up so we left. We went to San Carlos and had a great meal and charla con un amigo de un miembro.

When we got back home we had a message waiting for us from 9:45. The District Leader was sick and was unable to make it to the Bridge to Nowhere. Something about not being able to leave the bathroom.

Interesting week.

Also! The Christmas Devotional! Amazing! I loved it LOTS! At least the songs are in English. And the talks were great!

Wierd News: (...it´s true wherever you find love...)

So I was asked why there is always a white boat in the back of my pictures. So here is my answer...

Those pictures are from Machala. We had the chance to see the ocean every monday, if we wanted. When we were at the ocean their was really only one dock for us to go to. At this dock we took pictures. Always there was a White Boat in the background... the Aukland Star. I think this is a company and I think they own the dock. I think it is always a different boat but it always looks the same and it always has the same name... or it is the same boat every week. I doubt that.

Talk about weird news.

Also... If I had to say that the most beautiful thing I have seen here in Ecuador... besides the people... THE LAND! Whoa. ok. Near Guayaquil EVERYTHING is dead. I don´t know why. But in Pasaje and the places far distant from Guayaquil are BREATHTAKING. The mountains are huge, the green is green, the sky... oops, yeah never saw that in Pasaje... clouds. But I love the land. When the rains come I think we will finally see how beautiful Guayaquil can be.


1. The yellow tie and the man that can´t see (milagro)
2. The power of talking
3. Learning through discussion
4. Gomez-Troya
5. Wishing somehow you were here to see what I can see

Wish Washes of Warm Wishes,

(... it feels like Christmas!)

Elder Robinson

(for those of you that cant figure out all of the "..." here is the song:

It's in the singing of a street corner choir
It's going home and getting warm by the fire
It's true, wherever you find love it feels like Christmas
A cup of kindess that we share with another
A sweet reunion with a friend or a brother
In all the places you find love it feels like Christmas
It is the season of the heart
A special time of caring
The ways of love made clear
It is the season of the sprit
The message if we hear it
Is make it last all year

Go watch the "Muppet Christmas Carol"

Also my favorite quote right now:

I´ll guard my post no matter where,
believing God must need me there,
For Great and Small there is but one test,
´Tis that each man will do his best.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Naranjito (The Little Orange)

Family and Friends

The Old Style of writing letters is OUT. I haven´t really decided why... it just is.

Shout Out: Spencer Robinson! This kid is starting his papers this week. CRAZY! I am really excited for him. Especially for the fact that he will be here in Ecuador in almost 7 months (give or take). Good luck Padowan!

I have received algunos preguntas sobre mi sector nuevo de Naranjito. Entonces lo debo explicar.

Naranjito: Is excelent. This place reminds me a lot of Cokeville Wyoming. It is roughly 1.5 hours outside of Guayaquil (so as of yet I have NOT served in the city that contains more than HALF of the missionaries). Practically everyone works in the Sugar Cain industry. There are sugar cain fields EVERYWHERE. All the roads are cobblestone or dirt. Our sector is HUGE (see next paragraph). The people are great. The branch is... moderate. The nicest looking church in town is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (this chaple is a Stake Center that is nicer than my Stake Center in Utah). This town has no "downtown" and no bread-shops (apperently Pasaje and Santa Rosa are known for having 6 bread shops for every street). As such cheep dinners of 50 cents are no longer possible. Entonces = No dinner! The food is great. Also I will return home with a tan. Naranjito is HOT! HOT! HOT! SUN! SUN! SUN!

 I really don´t know why I am in this sector... and neither does my companion. The first night I was talking to my companion and he told me how tired he was of this sector, how hard it was, and how he was looking forward to being moved out of it next change (he hopes). Hmm... I love that speach right before I start my next 6 months in a small town. The town right next to us (from the edge of our town we can see the edge of the other town, a really pretty picture) San Carlos had missionaries a few months ago. The sector was closed because NOBODY was progressing. San Carlos is now apart of our sector, this is why this sector is HUGE, because we have two small towns, but we mainly work in Naranjito.

My Zone is Milagro/Truinfal. We are 30 minutes outside of Milagro but we are in the Truinfal District. That means when this area becomes a stake Milagro and Truinfal will split and Naranjito will be the Stake Center for Truinfal. This day should happen anytime in the next 10 years. The Milagro district is special, we have bikes! I am now a Bike Missionary. No, I don´t have a helmet. No, my bike is kinda trashy. Yes, I am loving riding around on dirt roads getting from one end of town to the other with realative ease and cost. (though I might add that: Por cierto, por cierto, os digo que pienso que mis nalgas tendran para siempre la imprección de la silla de una bicicleta, ya pues, necicitaré visitar un doctor despues la mision para ayudar mis nalgas. pobrecitos.)

My Companion is Elder Dardon. Elder Dardon is Excelent! Part of his speach to me the first day was that he often suffers from depression. But I have not seen one sign of depression in him since I have been here, so I think we are on the right track. He is from Guatamala and is an absolutely amazing teacher. He has been in Naranjito for 3 months and has only 4 months left in the mission. I think he thinks Naranjito is hard because he had the really easy sector of Arenillas (a sector in which he baptised roughly 25 people in 6 months). Todo estará bien. Elder Dardon and I get along great. Our goal is to have 2 baptisms this change but I think we can pull through with a few more than that. Only time will tell.

Our House: This is a specail section for our home. Yes it is a house, not an apartment. But I was informed that it is the cheepest living space for the missionaries in the entire mission. I can understand why and I hope you will as well.

1. Tin Roof= This makes sleep difficult when:

a. There are cats on the roof.
b. It is raining.
c. The sun was shinning durring the day. (litterally we will return to our house at 9:30 at night and our house, thanks to our tin roof, will feel like an oven.) This Thanksgiving I am grateful for Fans.

2. Lights. We have two for the entire house. This makes cleaning the Kitchen, with candles, an experience that everyone should have.

3. Doors. We have them, but the bathroom does not. Well, I guess it is kindof like a door... but nope. Not a door.

4. Mosquitoes. I love bug nets. I get to sleep in one.

5. Water. Water is cold, not hot. And we have to turn a key in another room if we want to take a shower, then turn off the kew when we are done. Not that this really helps during a shower, the little drizzle that comes out of the head is hardly enough to shower with.

(I love this house, it makes life interesting)

I am also really grateful for Mototaxis. Naranjito does not have Taxis, it has Mototaxis. Motercycles that have been transformed into 3 wheeled taxis. This not only makes transportation fun but cheep.

Sorry that this email is comming a whole day late. We were at the Temple today. Milagro never gets to go to the temple but the Zone Leaders begged the President to let us go. He did, on the same day as District Meeting, and if we changed our PDay to Tuesday. Thanks to the wonderful bus system here in Ecuador Elder Dardon and I missed our session and District meeting.

Oh! I should mention that I love the month of July! I have decided to live it the next 6 months. Tell me how the snow goes!

Os Amo!

Elder Robinson

Monday, November 16, 2009

I want to get away... I want to fly away... yeah, yeah, yeah...

Familia y Otros

1. Our Christmas Tree. Aprox 2ft tall.

2. Picture right after the baptism of Monzy Chichande and Katy Chichande.

3. Elder Locisimo. Need I say more?

Shout Out: Presidente Johns. Presidente Johns is the benevolent President of Ecuador Guayaquil South. He is practically the greatest person (for me right now) ever. I don´t know how he does it but he somehow controls the salvation of everyone in the mission, has meetings every day, coordinates with the stakes, takes care of the branches (such as Pasaje 1&2), a veces can be found in Peru visiting with Apostles, 70, y Area Athorities, has monthly meetings in Machala, Cuenca, y Loja, reads (and often responds to) every email from us missionaries, and interviews 180 missionaries every six weeks. I thought my schedule got a little tough. Nope.

Needless to mention, President Johns will be in meetings the next 3 days, roughly 40 hours, with the Assistents. This happens every six weeks when they make changes. I hope they keep me in Pasaje.

Mi Semana: Katy Cedeño and Monzy Chichande were baptised this week. I had the oppertunity to baptise Monzy. They both were SUPER excited. Practically giggling when they entered the water. Right after the baptism Katy (17) told me, ¨Elder Robinson... I felt something! I don´t know what it was... what was it?¨ Yes folks. It was the spirit!

Katy brought her boyfriend and his family to the baptism. At the baptism, directly after, the family (familia Ramon) told us, ¨We want to be baptised as well. What do we have to do?¨ Well, they will be baptised next change, hopefully all 5 of them.

Sunday Katy and Monzy received the gift of the Holy Ghost. That night we were talking to Katy and she said, ¨I felt it again, that thing in my chest. But this time it did not go away... and I feel so good I don´t think that I can do wrong!¨

Talk about my testimony shooting through the roof. None of my investigatores so far have felt the spirit as strongly as Katy does (and we never told Katy that she would feel it, just that she would have the Gift of the Holy Ghost). Talk about knowing that this Gospel is true.

Wierd News: Light. Right now in Pasaje, and all of Ecuador, there is NO POWER. This is because the rains have not come yet. Apperently there is a river that has a dam. This dam has 7 generators and powers the entire country. Right now only 2 of the generators can work. This means that Power is being rationed right now. So in every city there are always sectors that dont have power. Every 6 hours it switches and it is not on a schedule. So we will have power, then no power, be in the middle of Naranjos at night and then the power flips off (super dangerous to be in Naranjos without light), be on our way to an appointment when we notice all the streets in front of us have no power... makes life difficult.

Why is this strange? We have a rule that we can´t work in darkness.

1. Darkness is super dangerous. Landrones, Matadores, etc...

2. Only the devil works in darkness.

So we have to fire lots of appointments because we cant get to them or there is no power where our investigatores live. Often times we have to return home. As such, this has put a damper on how many lessons we can teach in a week, how many people we can find, how many new investigatores we can encounter... etc, etc... Not to mention that ALL the Elders in my house are sick. I don´t understand this seeing as I am the Gringo and they are the natives.

I am as healthy as a horse (please read the section ¨OF UPMOST IMPORTANCE.¨

La hora de cosas de UPMOST IMPORTANCE:

1.  Mom asked me how my health was. So I am going to answer: GREAT!

1.a. I hurt my wrist playing soccer. We are not supposed to play soccer... but it was just with missionaries and no one can get hurt... right?

1.b. I chipped a tooth. It is really small but I don´t like eating Mango Verde. OUCH!

1.c. I can´t tell if I am loosing weight. I don´t think so.

1.d. I hurt my knee about 2 months ago. It still hurts. I can´t really kneel on it and it is not swollen. I think I brused the tendon.

1.e. But I am not sick and half the mission is. Whoo! Whoo!

2. Time Delay? In reference: I recieved a letter from a friend that she wrote in September. I don´t know why it took 2 months to get to me... but here are some answers.

2.a. Pan Man is the Bread Man that drives his little bike around, squaking his little horn, here in Pasaje (selling Pan) (bread). This would not be a problem if he did not start at our house every morning at 5:30. I hate waking up an hour early to Suawka Suawka Suawka... Suawka Suawka Suawka... Suawka Suawka. Thus Pan Man must die.

2.b. Good work with Jack. Keep talking to him. The Lord talks through people. Only time will tell.

2.c. 60 years of communism... loco. How was that?

2.d. You have Karaoke we have Soap Operas. Yes. Here in Ecuador and South America there are Soap Operas for EVERYTHING. Old people, young people, people that want to kill their wives, children (yep, the cast is made up of 8 year olds...), clowns, nuns, creeps... everything. And all the plots are cheesy. I would vote for Karaoke.

2.e. I have only been in contact with Peter Moody and a friend of mine (David Robinson!) Nobody mas. I assume they are all doing well on their missions

3. Christmas. You think Christmas is early in the States... WRONG. People put up their Christmas things in September here. I don´t understand. I think the heat got to their heads, or they don´t know when Christmas Season starts because there is no snow.

4. Man with Gun and Children (to make things clear): We were in Naranjos, walking around at roughly 6:00, the sun was setting. My companion and I were talking when someone was behind us... trying to talk to us. He had his hand under his shirt. My companion thought nothing of it and kept walking. I kept my eyes on the person... then Monzy called to us from down the street. The man, who was near us, veared the other direction. Monzy and all of her little friends came running towards us. The man with his hand under his shirt walked away. We watched him for a while. Yep, he had a gun. We told the children to go home. We went the other way to an appointment. End of Story.  (Thought I was robbed once by a man with a knife (though he was drunk and I only gave him a penny)) :)

1. Cow Foot. Yep. I did not feel bad for NOT finishing that soup.
2. My section of ¨UPMOST IMPORTANCE¨ was really long. Sorry about that. As such, I have no more thoughts.

Y doy fin a mis palabras,

Os Amo,

Elder Robinson

Monday, November 9, 2009

Estoy Escribiendote

Familia y Amigos, Primos y Sobrinos, Tias, Tios, Abuelas, Abuelos, ser o no ser, este es la pregunta!

1. Me up near Cocha today. We had a lot of fun up in the mountain. This is me pensively thinking about my investigatores.

2. Me with Lobito. Lobito is the ugly wolf that my companion carries around. He is our investigator and we teach him every morning for practice.

3. My companion and I in Machala near the ocean eating Savicha. (see last weeks post)

Shout Out: Mary Tiechert! Mary!"My Cousin! I was thinking about you this week. Alot. Because you have been my best friend since I was 2. Thanks for the email. I enjoyed hearing about your life and your success with spanish. You are about where I am. I know enough to confuse people really really well. Trust me, I was in charge of teaching the Plan of Salvation at church yesterday. 6 investigatores were in the class... talk about tough.

The work is moving along great. I can´t believe how fast the time is flying by. I love teaching the Plan of Salvation. Nothing makes sense without it. I never speak English and I now think in pictures (I can´t think in spanish yet). The branch has roughly 70 active members. And it is mostly prostylitinglando.


Love you lots Mary.

Mi Semana: Hmm. This was an interesting week. We worked really hard to get people to church this week. We worked on our invintation and how we present Sacrament Meeting. This is highly important. If people don´t assist to sacrament meeting... they can´t be baptised. Our goal (set by the president) for every week is to have 6 investigatores at the church. We did it this week. We had exactly 6. It was tough, lots of walking before church, a taxi, a recent convert, and a little bit of persuation, and a miracle... but we had 6 people there. The miracle: we met a woman this week who is a little nervious. I think she has a slight mental disorder... more of a social disorder. Anyways, she is really smart, has 30 years, and her dad is a Testigo de Jehova. She was new this week so we did not even think about swinging by her house before church. No fears, she was at the church, all three hours, introducing herself, and can´t wait to come back. I love the gospel.

Also this week we got the signature from the mother of Monzy Chichande. She should be baptised with Katy Cedeño next Friday. However last night we were teaching a lesson when Monzy showed up (she knew where we would be) crying. Her mom was drunk (we have LOADS of drunks here) and told her that she can´t be baptized. We will have a chat with her mom TONIGHT. I think it was just because her mom was drunk and with friends. I hate the devil.

Katy Cedeño was supposed to be baptised but she wants her family to be in town. They will be here Friday. Last Friday we had an appointment with Katy. On our way there I had the thought, "buy Katy an IceCream..." OK. I like Ice cream. Maybe Katy will want one. We bought her one. We were about 2 blocks from her house when we noticed something was wrong. Katy was in the middle of a gang (I think they might be druglords but they are really chill with us) and a man on the other side of the street had a really big stick. Something was really wrong. As we got closer Katy motioned for us to enter the circle. Just moments before we arrived Katy´s dog, Benji the Pitbull, was killing the neighbors dog. The neighbor started beating Benji with a stick. Katy told the neighbor to stop so the neighbor slugged Katy in the face. The gang surronded Katy to protect her and then we arrived. Hurray. Katy is fine, her eye was really bothering her. We bought her some medicine and she needed something cold.... ICE CREAM! Well she did not eat it like I had hoped but she used it like an ice pack. Benji I think has a broken leg.

Wierd News: I said that we were practicing our aproach for inviting people to church. Well, we practiced. Later that night we were inviting a family to church and I was explaining the different meetings and the blessings we can receive when I noticed that the words and the phrases I was using made me want to go to the church the next sunday tambien. This made me excited. Elder Holland taught that you know when the spirit is present when both the STUDENT and the TEACHER are edified and BOTH leave the appointment WANTING TO DO something. I wanted to go to church. So did my investigator. = Spirit.

La hora de cosas de UPMOST IMPORTANCE:

1. Spencer Robinson, my beloved brother, wrote a family email this week. He had a personal message for practically EVERYONE and then a section of "for everyone else." I am proud to anounce that I am in the section of "for everyone else." So, in my great amount of love I am going to write personal messages to EVERYONE and then have a section of "for everyone else."

Mom and Dad- I love you LOTS. Sorry about the Milk dad, if it makes you feel any better the milk here is AWEFUL. We drank some the other day at an investigatores house and my companion about threw up. I don´t know how I finished it.

Amy and Dan- Love you lots. I hope Mary is better

Ann and Jeff- How is preparing for finals? The kids? I miss your letters Jeff. Pero esta bien.

Christy and Leif- Hey! How is life. How is Leif? How are Interviews? I love you both LOADS.

Cousins- Is Michelle married yet? I love you all.

Friends- I love you all.

Friends in other countries- Pray. Love you all.

Everyone Else that may or may not include Spencer- I love you.

1. I think I fractured my hand 2 weeks ago
2. Man with gun and kids at night. Nobody gets hurt
3. I think this might be my last two weeks in this sector... I want one more change...
4. My companion was sick ALL week. We only had to sit in the house for one day though.

Y doy fin a mis palabras,

Os Amo,

Elder Robinson

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wild Child

Mis Amados Hermanos,

Shout Out: Snow! Actually no, not here, not now, not ever. But I have heard whisperings that it snowed in Utah. ENJOY THE SNOW! The most we get here is... mist. It gets misty. It is not even rain. But everything is SOAKED. Except us. We somehow are not soaked. Maybe because we are walking everywhere. No sé.

Mi Semana: I don´t even know where to start. This is usually due to the fact that I can´t remember why my week was any diferent from the other weeks.

This week was Halloween in the States. Here in Ecuador they don´t celebrate Haloween. They celebrate the 2 de Noviembre... The day of the Dead. On this day EVERYONE goes to the cemetary and talks to their dead relatives. Literally. We were at the cemetary and a man was talking to a tomb, "I love you, thanks for your support, I will come back next year to talk to you..." Odd. Can someone say "Plan of Salvation?"

We are still teaching Monzi Diana Chichande. She wants to be baptised but her mom won´t allow it yet. As we were visiting with them we started talking to the Father. He told us that he had just gotten back from the cemetary (talking to his dead father) and just wanted to listen. Well listen he did. As missionaries we adapt.

I asked him if he believed that he could talk to his dad one day face to face. He said no. PLAN DE SALVACIÓN! He is definitely interested, the mom is just about to break and let us baptise Diana, and then one more person will be part of the Kingdom of God sobre la tierra. 5 points for the Plan of Salvation.

Katy Cedeño is also progressing towards baptism. She has an interview tomorrow and should be baptised Friday.

We had our Conference this week in Machala. I love conference. We learned a ton about teaching people under the age of 18 and obtaining un permiso. The president really hit that one hard.

After the conference Hermana Johns (The wife to President Johns) drove us back to Pasaje. She wanted to check our house... Needless to say we had not cleaned it in a week (seeing as how the conference was on our day of cleaning). It was super funny to watch as she touched everything and inspected the fridge and looked under the toilet checked for leaks and looked in our desks... and then asked us where our Christmas Tree was. Our apartment is SO far out of the way that she only inspects Pasaje every 6 months or so... and I guess 6 months ago there was a Christmas Tree... we should go find it. We recieved a 5/10 and some chocolates and a loaf of bread (because she loves us, not the house).

Weird News: Drunks. Loads of them in Pasaje, especially during festivals. I don´t like them at all. They are ugly, smelly, and don´t really have a purpose. This also goes with cofé and té.

La Virgen de Cisne. I don´t understand the Catholic Religion... but here in Ecuador they don´t worship Christ, they worship Virgens. Not only Mary, but any woman that had loads of money and clamed to see Mary in a cracker, a cloud, or the waterspot on the wall. One of the famous ones is the Virgen of Cisne. They have giant dolls of her all over the place. She has a huge dress, is standing in the middle of a town, and holding a small baby doll Jesus. In her other hand she has a huge stick that I think she hits children with. Faicicicimo.

My dear readers: please follow the 10 commandments and don´t worship idols.

La hora de cosas de UPMOST IMPORTANCE:

1. Katy Cedeño will be baptised this week!
2. Things I forgot to add to my weird list last week:

-Dont drive or walk down the middle of roads, you might fall in a 10 foot hole.
-Dont trust the cops
-In parades every school has a band of drumbs and girls with feathery sticks. After 300 schools and 5 hours this can get a little old.
-The mascots for the Bomberos (Fire Department) are three naked men painted red. Yeah, I don´t understand either.
-Inca Cola is the best cola ever!

1. Congratulations to a friend of mine. I am excited for your major.
2. Spencer gets to go to England.
3. No Snow
4. Nobody at church

Y doy fin a mis palabras,

os amo,

Elder Robinson

Pictures to ALL!

To All within the Sound of this Email!

1. The road to Cocha (a beautiful place that has not had missionaries)
2. Savicha (Savicha Negro y Blanco, it was good, but I did not like the Negro part, it was concha (oyester))
3. My companion and I at the Conference Yesterday.


Elder Robinson

Monday, October 26, 2009

Angels and Demons

Mis Amados Hermanos,

Shout Out: Hughes. MOVING TO THIALAND! -or- THILANDIA! -or- TAILANDIA! Wow, I thought I had friends in exotic places, I thought I lived in a wierd place, but I never expected my family to live in Southeast Asia.

Because I never thought this would happen, I never made a list of things I would like to do while my family is there... so hopefully Amy and Dan can do them for me:

1. Find the White Elephant (I hear it brings good luck)
2. Shop at the markets (yes, I have a market here... but I don´t think I will be shoping there anytime soon...)
3. Eat spicy food with loads of noodles, chicken, and soup. (Food here is often bland).
4. Adopt a new child (not that children are ever old)
5. Carry your stuff on top of your head (or is that Africa?)
6. Carry Mary and Abram in a pouch on your back (people here do that every once-in-a-while)
7. Watch the religious chants in some far away rainforest (broo who who, broo who who... ah ah ah CHA!!!!)
8. Buy an Asian hat and carry sticks around all day (I don´t know if they do it all day, but I have seen pictures)
9. Play with a cobra -or- have someone inchant one for you. (you might need parent supervision for this activity)-(this activity can be done along with many other high risk- thrill filled activities, which include but are not limited to: Playing Hop-Scotch in the Freeway, Shouting "BOMB!" on a Japanese Subway, or fighting a land war in Russia)
10. Walk around with a bell and ring it at people if they look at you funny (I hear it works with evil spirits and monsters)


My Week: Was exelent. I must admit that I am blushing slightly at how much MAIL I got. I feel loved. The pictures were great, the food was awesome, and I love you all.

¿Adavina que? ¡Tengo veinte!

We have been having some great success with finding new people to teach. In the past two weeks we have found over 50 new investigatores. Our goal for the Change is 60 (4 more weeks to go to find 6 people...). Our problem comes with people not wanting to go to church, or feal that "God is Everywhere" and they just have to have a prayer in their heart.

Elder Robinson´s Book of Herecy and Lies: CHURCH IS SUPER IMPORTANT. Mandamiento cuarto nos enseño que el Señor ha creado el mundo en seis dias, y el septimo es el Dia de Reposo! Si, usted, tiene mas conocimiento del Señor y puede, usted, crear un mundo en seis dias, por favor, tiene sus propias mandamientos. (We will leave that untransaleted... as it is from a book of Herecy and Lies...)

So we prayed for a miracle. We prayed that somehow we would see a miracle, Sunday, at the church. And you know what... my God is a God of miracles.

-The Story of the Angel and the Demon-

Sunday Morning at 8:00 we had an appoinment in Cocha (roughly 15 minutes afuera -outside- of Pasaje. It is a beautiful little town with a DEAP river running down the middle of it. I can´t describe how beautiful. The river is not big, but it is DEAP, kindof like a canyon, but full of clear water. I will take a picture next time I am there.

We were late for our appointment with Familia Zari, but... Hermano Zari was there. He has 70 years and I thought he was just tired... well... he was actually cursed. I don´t know if ANY of you believe in Witches, but I am here to tell you that they exist. Not very many in Ecuador, but in the mountains... yes. Mermano Zari has had pain in his head for years and medicine was not working for him so he went to see a whitch. He traveled 9 hours in bus, to Peru, then 3 hours by horse up into the mountains. There he found the Witch. And that is all he remembers. He was telling us of seeing a moon on the horizon, stars, and darkness. But beyond that he remembers nothing. His speach was really slow, his mind was working... but not sufficiently well... he was thinking slowely.

So we did what all good missionaries do: we taught lesson one. He liked it. He told us he wanted to go to church with us. (He had only seen misioneros once before: us, a week before, when we set the appointment). We decided that he could come with us, but he would have to follow us around for 3 hours until church started. He was still slow, so we taught of preisthood blessings and blessed him to be rid of whatever the witch did to him. We told him that we would return in one hour and take him to Pasaje with us.

One hour later we were teaching a lesson down by the river. Hermano Milton (the cursed man) showed up. He looked TONS better. His mind was faster (though not perfect) and he was ready for church. We told him that we had to finish our lesson and that he could wait for us at the bridge (the bridge is OVER the town and the river, you have to climb these really cool stairs to get out of Cocha). After our lesson, 15 minutes later, we climbed the stairs and found Milton -get this- SHARING HIS BOOK OF MORMON and telling his friend how excited he was to go to church with us.

We took Milton to Pasaje and to lunch with us at Familia Arias. From there we visited Ronald Ochoa at the Cemetary (he lives there) and then went to the church. Of ALL of our investigatores ONLY 2 showed up. Milton and Silvia. Now do you call that a miracle... YES!

Look at it this way: Milton had just been cursed, had traveled all night to Peru and back, the first people he saw when he got back was us, we taught him, gave him a Book of Mormon, blessed him. He then went to church, had lunch with members, had a cita with us, and then stayed all 3 hours at church. He has set a breakfast appoinment with us (for next Sunday) and now has a Baptismal Date. Miracle? I say yes. You decide.

-End of Story-

Weird News: I made my No-Bake-Cookies. Hmmmm... Thanks family SOOO much. (Why is this weird? I cooked something that was not noodles or eggs.)

Now for things of UPMOST IMPORTANCE:

1. Thanks to all who thought of me or sent me something for my birthday. I can´t reply to you all... because I have to travel to Machala to get letters out, and I can only do that Mondays and only if I travel to Machala...

2. Someone asked me what cultural things in Ecuador I love... or are just plane wierd... here is my list

-Coco Beans everywhere. They smell bad.
-Traditional Rap. Yeah, with marakas, tamberines, and rap (Boom, chicka chicka, Boom Boom, chicka, Boom Boom Cicka...!)
-Bugs in food. You get used to it after a while. Drinks, rice, soup... can´t let everything bother you.
-Blarring music. I don´t think you can be Latin unless you can tolerate music around 942 Decibles.
- Bamboo Houses and Dirt Floors. Love these. The people are much more receptive.
- House-stores on EVERY corner.
-Mimiking EVERYTHING that America does (this is slightly annoying). For Example: Latin-American Idol (with three judges, one of which is a jerk, one is a woman, and the other is smart), Who-wants-to-be-a-millionare! ("mill" in spanish is 1000, so the show is the exact same, but the top reward is 50,000), News Anchores (yeah, they look just like the famous News Anchores in the States), etc...etc...
- Toilet Paper... can´t flush it here.
- Markets
- Buses and Taxis

1. Interviews tomorrow
2. Conference in 2 days
3. 24 nuevos
4. Opening Cocha

Y doy fin a mis palabras,

os amo,

Elder Robinson

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Sorry, the Maas family is seriously slacking on the emails. We stay busy but don't do anything different so there isn't a whole lot to write about.
I didn't get much sleep last night H1N1 is in the neighborhood, and though my kids don't have it, they have been sick, and Ben was tossing and turning all night, sad not feeling well kid...it was wierd and exausting. :(
Hm our daily routine
6:30 wake up eat breakfast, wake kids
7:00 leave the house
Drop off at daycare
Study till class
Go to class
Study after class
5:30 pick up kids
Make dinner
Family activity (currenlty we are making a pinata)
Prayers, Brush teeth, Pj's, Scriptures
PUt kids to bed
Jeff & Ann Time (often doing more homework)
10:00 Bed time
   x7 and thats our week.
I am still looking for the pictures we took of your b-day cards. I'd be the slacker sister that didn't get it out on time, but to my defense, we don't live in UT and couldn't add them to the family's packages. Sorry, myabe they are still on the camera, I'll find them!
Have a great day, I have to get back to homework.


Family, Friends, Lost Friends

Hey! I have time this week. Weird. Here we go!

Cambio 2 Report:

Baptisms: 4
Confirmations: 4
Lessons Taught: 98
New Investigators: 60

It was a good change and we finished it with a bang.

Shout Out: Mary (or Mery as they spell it here, or Maria) Hughes. My little niece has broken her collerbone and is pretty sad.


Ok, so I don´t have a ton of words for an injured child, but hey! Mary, I love you, you are such a cute little niece. I will keep you (and all of my sobrinos, en mis oraciones).

My Week: So I lost Elder Benavides and found Elder Ludeña. Elder Ludeña is from Peru. He is the oldest missionary in the mission (27) and just left the office (was the Financier) (odd, Elder Benavides was, directly before he was my Trainer, the AP, Ludeña was the Financier... I think my next companion will be Elder Cambra, he is currently the Secretary to the President and his time in the office will be ending soon...)

Elder Ludeña is great. We work great together and our lessons are super powerful. and he has what I would call a "pure" testimony.

Spanish is coming along great for me. I am living in a house where I am the only person that knows english but for some reason I am able to communicate with people that know spanish. I don´t understand how it works yet but I think I am learning spanish. Odd.

Last week we worked hard. We had over 30 new investigators and 23 lessons.

Weird News: So I was teaching Andres Chichande the Palabra de Sabiduria the other day. As I was talking, in spanish, I realized I was saying things that I did not really know how to say, and that I was telling him to do things that really did not make sense to me... jist of my story: Elder Holland taught us that one of the signs that the spirit is in a lesson is when the teacher (me at this moment) learns from himself. I was definitely learning from myself. For some strange reason it made sense to me why we confess and ask the help of other people when we have grave problems. I can´t explain it to you now, but it makes sense why Bishops are the Common Judges. O´well. I hope one day you all understand what I am trying to say.

Now for things of UPMOST IMPORTANCE:

1. When you are sitting in a chair and you suddenly feel vertigo.... EARTHQUAKE. It lasted about 2 seconds.

2. Diana wants to get baptised. Odd, her mom hit her when she said that. Sometimes Catholics can be a little harsh.

3. CHALLENGE: We as missionaries have been reading the Book of Mormon and marking every reference to Christ, all of his words, his attributes, and any doctrine we come across. This is a cool assigment. I am halfway through el Libro de Mormon and I have learned a ton. One thing I have learned and noticed I would like to share with you...

Read the following versus and figure out what they all have in common. There are more, but I am not finished with the Book of Mormon yet...

Enos 1:10
Mosiah 2:22
Alma 38:1
Jarom 1:9
Alma 9:13
Omni 1:6
Alma 36:1


4. Rumor has it that the office has 5 boxes with my name on them. All white sticker... hmm...

5. The picture is one of the final times I was with Elder Benavides.

1. Gangs... yeah right
2. 30 nuevos
3. Piña puro es como el cielo
4. Andres Drunk and a telephone call to the mother of Katy Cedeño (Which I might note is challenging: to speak spanish over a telephone... 10 points for Elder Robinson).

Y doy fin a mis palabras,

os amo,

Elder Robinson


How was the fireside? Are you and dad still at the Temple every week? How is Mary´s collarbone? And white sticker... go green... thanks ;)


Nothing to respond to. We are having some difficutly to with the mail. I hope China is treating you well.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Birthday!!!

Ok I hope that this gets to you. I can't find the images that I was supposed to upload for you, but the whole Maas family is wishing you a happy birthday. Look in your inbox next week for your official birthday cards from us. (sorry they will be late)
Lots of Love
PS. your last email was WAY too short!

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
-- Malcolm S. Forbes

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Livin´ la Vida Loca

Mis Amados Amigos y Familia

Shout Out: Elder Benavides. This Elder was my trainer and as of today he is going back to the States. He has finished his mission, fought a good fight, and is ready to go home. I love him to death. It is truely hard to explain... but I love him and miss him already. I don´t think anyone will truely know how much I love my companions.


Weird News: Today: companion left, took taxi, went to Machala, taxi was late, bus broke down, no companion, new companion, no zone leaders, cleaned house, have to work, wrote this email... no time...

Actually, weird news... THEY CLOSED MY CITY! PASAJE HAS BEEN CLOSED. Now let me explain. They pulled every missionary out of it EXCEPT ME! They have replaced all the Elders. Odd. Interesting. This means I have to show a few more people where things are.

Now for things of UPMOST IMPORTANCE:

1. Not enough time. Must work. Must sleep. Must... must... mu...

1. I love my mom
2. I thought about mom this week
3. Mom? Where are you?
4. Mom is purple? Someone explain that to me?

Y doy fin a estas palabras,

Elder Robinson

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
-- Malcolm S. Forbes

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fwd: Conference 179

Mis Amados Amigos y Familia

Shout Out: Dad! Wow you are... um... I wont say your age, that might be rude... but you had a BIRTHDAY! I know you hate it when we celebrate your birthday, but hey! I am in Ecuador. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BELATED! Thanks for your support and time. Thanks for being my dad.

My Week: Crazy. Preparing for Conference was way more difficult than it should have been. But there is some silver lining to everything... CONFERENCE! It was a blast. Even though it was in spanish and I was having a REALLY hard time understanding everything it was amazing.

All the Latins were buzzing with how great Elder Hollands talk was, I thought I should rewatch it in english. I did. Wow. Talk about AMAZING. I am constantly impressed with the role that the Book of Mormon plays, and should play, in our lives. The testimony of a great Apostle is no surprise at this time in the worlds history.

Ruth Chichande is now the newest member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the picture she is the person with curly black hair standing directly above me. She is amazing and is so excited to be a member (she will be confirmed next week). Her neice, Diana, really wants to be baptized but cannot because her parents will not give permision. Diana was practically crying afterwards because her parents have promised her a "first communion" instead of a "mormon baptism" because she wants to be baptised soooo badly. "first communion" is some made up "other church" things for those who are repenting for the first time. She knows it is false and told us that she is going to bug her parents all week so that she can be baptised like her Aunt next week. Talk about powerful.

Next week we plan to baptise Sebastian and Kiara.

To end this section I would exhort ALL of you to reread chapters 29-31 in 2 Nephi. If you are really lazy and dont have time then just read 2 Nephi 19-20. I read these chapters in Spanish this week and they were super powerful to me. I hope you all feel the spirit as I did when you read these words.

Weird News: Liver. I hate LIVER and Guatita. If you dont know what Guatita is... well, I will never tell you. I will give you some. Whoo... I am getting chills already. We were teaching a lesson at the home of Ruth when they invited us to eat with them. We agreed. We should not have. It was Guatita and Liver. But, I love these people so much, and I did not want to offend them... so I looked for a way out of it.

At first my companion tried to tell them that we cant eat pig... well it was not pig liver. Then my companion tried to get his bag so we could shove it inside when they were not looking... the baby had his bag. Then they noticed we were trying to get out of it and asked if the food was making us sick... I could not tell them that it was.... SO I ATE IT! It took me over and hour and we were late getting home, but I did it. I about threw up 3x, my companion thought it was disgusting, but we did it!

My montra the entire time: Perfect love casteth out ALL fear. It did. I lived. They were happy.

Now for things of UPMOST IMPORTANCE:

1. Nature Walks. These are important. I love doing them here in Ecuador, but I never have time. I have added some pictures of one we took Tuesday with Family Segarra. Enjoy.

2. Sugar Cain. I love this stuff, but I cant eat to much of it at a time, it is much to sweet.

3. We are now teaching lessons in a Cemetary. There is a family that runs it and they LIVE there. Talk about "Living among the Dead." Cemetaries here are... ugly. All the bodies and boxes and stuff is ABOVE ground. Kinda creepy. I cant wait until we talk about the resurection, we might scare them half to death. "And now we would like to make sure you understand that ALL of these people will be walking around again... you might want to move..."

1. Hermano Sanchez 3x robbed in 3 days.
2. Prayer works every time.
3. If you ever wonder why I have this crazy format for every email... it is for you. If you want to read about my week, read it, if you want to know what is crazy, read it, if you want to try to figure out my thoughts.... read it. Just thought I would through that in for those of you who have not figured it out yet.

Y doy fin a estas palabras,

Elder Robinson

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
-- Malcolm S. Forbes

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hey little brother

Thanks for the last email, I love the hair cut, and no you don't look like you are gaining weight.
I really do enjoy reading your mission experiences, soon there will be two Robinson missionaries out and about and its going to be really wierd. I met a cool person this week, her name is Lisa Motte Connelly, her husband is our Stake President. We were chatting and what do you know Lisa played Volleyball with mom at BYU!!! When I met Lisa at womans confrence she came down off the stage and gave me a huge hug....that says a lot we really do have the coolest mom, and I love meeting people that know her.
This weekend we will  go to Alice's  house for confrence, the kids are really excited. We are planning to make a whole bunch of sugar cookies for us to frost wtih the kids too. School is going well I am working on a paper today about some stories I read and the influence of war on children and vice versa. It should be somewhat interesting when I am done. :)
Reminder: Dad's bday this Friday so you better give him the next shout out!!! (Is he going to be 50? I can't remember, born in 1960, so 2009-1960 nope one more year to go till he is officiall an "old Man". :)
We've made you some birthday cards and the kids are excited to send them, but they weren't on white paper so I am going to email you the photos like I did wtih the family picture so that you can see them! We'll do better on the christmas cards I promise.
I love you, keep up the good luck, and have a wonderful week!
Lots of Love,
Ps. I don't know if Jeff is still writting you weekly, he is swammped, throughout the last week he has gone back to work several times after the kids are in bed and worked well past midnight (or 3 am) before comming home for a few hours of sleep, I'm sure he'll continue the weekly reports as soon as he can. He is taking a Nuclear Physics class and its kicking his but, but I know he'll get it eventually, he just has to put a lot of work into it. :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Me basta decir...

Mis Amados Hermanos, Amigos, y Otros

Shout Out: Tia Lili (en englis ustedes decirían "Aunt Leelee"). This woman is absolutely amazing. She does our cooking (because she has our gas... there is kindof a gas crisis here in Ecuador. I don´t know why. There just is), does our laundry, feeds us every night and morning if we ask, and she acts just like our Tia (Aunt) and calls me Sobrino Robinson. She is really cool. If I had a picture of her I would send it to you.

We are not supposed to call members anything else than "Hermano" or "Hermana" but Everyone calls Lili "Tia Lili." So we go with the flow.

Tia Lili tells me that I am loosing weight. I would like to state that Latins LOVE to exagerate. I am not loosing weight I am actually GAINING wieght. I am a freekin´ floating balloon and am at least 230. (excuse me, I think the Latin "exageration" is rubbing off on me). Tia Lili even makes sure that I eat. I have to eat IN HER HOUSE. She makes sure I eat every bite (because when I was first here there were a few meals that I skipped). This is Tia Lili, and she is amazing.

My Week: My companion is falling apart. In a good and a bad way. He will be back in the States in 2 weeks and he can´t wait. Can´t focus. Can´t think. I still love him though. He is great. He is Trunky. I have attached a picture of he and I while we were at the Port in Machala. The ship behind us is the Aukland Star.

Spanish is going great. I am understanding people and I think they understand some of my words. This is a good thing. However, I have been asked on multiple occations if I am from Spain. Apperently my accent is Portugese. My companion does not know where I learned how to speak like this... I don´t sound like an American but I don´t sound like I am from South America. Odd.

Conference is next week. I am really stoked for this. I can´t wait to hear what the Prophet has to say to us. Unfortunately I will be listening to the conference in Spanish and I will probably only understand 70-80%. Thats fine. We learn through the Spirit, not through words.

We have four more baptisms this change. All of them are excited and they will all be out of the water in no time.

We have run into two new families. One family called us into their home, they saw us walking by and wanted us to councel them on personal problems... we can´t do that but we can show them a better way to live their lives. the other family is Merceres Sanchez. We were walking past her home when I told my companion that I wanted to go talk to her. "Vamos!" We were in the middle of the lesson, more towards the end, when she broke down and started crying. She lost her husband 3 months ago and has tons of kids and wants to know why bad things happen to good people. Fortunately for her, I had just read a great scripture in Jacob "All your afflictions will be consecrated for your good" or something like that. We have another appointment with her this week. She is reading and praying.

This reminds me of Jeremy. I did not know Jeremy all that well. I remember being at his house a few times when I was young. He was cool and fun, but he and his twin always did things with Amy, or Ann, or Christy. But he was always nice to me and he was my friend on Facebook. I am sad to hear that he has moved on. It will be tough on his family. Trust me, I am working with a family in a simmilar situation. Best wishes to them.

Weird News: The family that "lives" below us had a party last night. They trashed our entryway.

Tambien we were teaching a lesson to Katy Cedeño. Andres was there (Uncle of Ruth Chichande). He is sooo smart but he likes drugs. He was really high and it was really funny. The wierd thing is he still makes sense when he is high, he just cant answer questions very well but he remembers EVERYTHING. Por Ejemplo: He has started reading the Libro de Mormón. He is in Alma. During the lesson a cross dresser walked in the room (please don´t ask) and asked a question. Andres opened up the Book of Mormon, flipped to Alma (remember, he is high) and read... "And the Devil walked into their homes and possesed them..." (or something like that). "Hey look! Its true!" It was really funny. I don´t think the cross dresser heard him though.

Now for things of UPMOST IMPORTANCE:

1. We have started teaching a TJ family (Testigoes de Jehova). Their 11 year old boy has memorized questions from their church to through at us. Never fear my friends... always remember: TRUTH CAN DEFEND ITSELF! An 11 year old boy with memorized questions is no match for 2 missionaries with the Book of Mormon and Bible. No, I don´t Bible Bash, I share my testimony and that always suffices.

2. I got a haircut today! I was so proud of myself for doing this that I took a picture. I have added it to the email. Please admire the hair.

3. I don´t have a hard copy of the picture with the boat and my companion. Can someone save that for me?

1. Pan Man must die...
2. Doll Man + Machete = Disaster
3. Spencer Robinson completed his assigment (short applause)
4. Saca v Arias por Ramon...awkward

Love you,

Elder Robinson

Ruth- Hey, WOW! China is SUPER exciting. I love the letters. Keep them comming, if you have time, I have scheduled freetime, you probably don´t. I have around 50 questions but I can never remember my quesions when I get to a computer. Sorry about that. Was the Great Wall everything you thought it would be? I think I want to watch the movie Mulan when I get home? I understand that Disney does not do a good job at portraying culture... but I must ask: Is China like Mulan or Kungfu Panda?

Enjoy it until the End


Elder Robinson

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
-- Malcolm S. Forbes

Monday, September 21, 2009

I saw the sky the other day. It´s blue!

Family, Friends, Aunts, and people that might be somewhat lost in China,

Shout Out: Judd Family. Whoo Hoo! I hear that you are helping out my family a ton! Not that fighting chikens is very hard, or finding a turtle, or keeping things sane at home... or a half million other things. But thanks so much for watching my mom for me. She tends to accidently hurt herself. I thought I would give you a warning in advance. Thanks for all you do.

My Week: Whoa! Remember that really crazy family that I have been teaching for 9 weeks now? The one that would not get married, then decided to get married, then spit, then made up, then decided to live the law of chastity, then got married, then got mad at each other, then... GOT BAPTIZED! WHOA! Johny and Alejandrina Segarra are now officially members of la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días.

(see the attached picture: Hno Neilson (black guy), Johny, Alejandrina, the old guy is President Gonzaga (he has the same birthday as me!) and my companion, and I)

Crazy! It was a crazy week. Our lesson numbers were way down, we went a whole day without lessons... ouch. That has never happened before and I hope it never happens again.

We have another 5 baptisms in 2 weeks. At General Conference we will be baptizing: Jenny Rojas, Ruth Chichande, Diana Chichande, Katy Cedeño, y Kiara Hendriquez. Does anyone notice that these are ALL women? That is a problem... if this branch wants to become a ward it needs more men that can hold the priesthood. However, we will continue to baptize as many people that want to be baptized.

Also, Prayer works and the Lord loves His children. That is all. Pray.

Wierd News: So in my journal at home I have an entry from 4-5 years back that states something like this (and no, this is not an invintation for ANYONE to go looking through my journal) "A kid said that I looked like Jim Carrey today." Yeah, weird right? Well, this is not the end, during my highschool years I was told 5-6 times that I acted like and looked like Jim Carrey. Well I hate to break it to you... but I DO NOT LOOK OR ACT LIKE JIM CARRY. Why am I talking about this? I was in the middle of a "weekly planning session" the other day when my District Leader turned to me and said... (I will translate for convenience...) "Ah! You look like Jimea Kadi" (You look like Jim Carrey). There have now been 3 missionaries who have told me that. So that I can prove that I am not Jim Carrey I have also attached a picture of myself posing with my cool Ecuador Bag (given to me by a convert herself). And from this foto you should see that I look nothing like Jim Carrey but solamente comó Elder Robinson.

I feel as if I need to apologize for last week. I miss you all, I just don´t think about ALL of you ever moment or day... but I do think about some of you every day.

Now for things of UPMOST IMPORTANCE:

1. The best food I have ever had here in Ecuador: Wow, this is a tought one... I would have to submit that you have never truely been in Heaven until you have had Pinapple Cola. Hmm... that hot creamy broth of rice and boiled piña hits the spot every time. When it comes to main meals I would have to admit that I really do enjoy rice with beats. It is definitely new for me, but I really do enjoy it.

When it comes to American Food I would have to submit that I do miss it. American food tops all the food that they have here in Ecuador. Cultural Note: If you want to buy something "American" here you have to pay 3x the price. If you want to buy something that imitates "American" you have to pay 5x the price. Stick with Ecuador stuff, its cheap.

2. I am still in Pasaje with my Companion Elder Benavides. He goes home this change and I will be left in Pasaje to train the next missionary here. I might be here for another 3 months but only the Lord knows. I will be here for at least another 6 weeks (after this change ends). There are 2 types of training in the mission. The first type is training a "Greenie" like myself. Only Experienced Elders do that. The other type is training an Area, and the Elder that has the most experience in the area does that (anyone can do it) and it takes about 2 weeks (all I have to do is show the other Elder around).

3. I was just telling my companion the other day how perfect it would have been to have lived in the 50´s with the Baby Boomers when everything seemed to be family centered. Interesting that someone shares my insights on this. Also, I would have loved to have lived in an age similar to the mystical "Lord of the Rings." Hands down. I love mystical things.

1.Family Segarra is BAPTIZED!!!
2. Elder Benavides ROCKS!
3. Spencer Robinson has an assignment and BETTER get it done.
4. I want to kill the Pan Man.


Elder Robinson

Mom and Dad: I love you both. And Spencer has a special assignment, can you bug him until he gets it done?

Spencer: You have a special assignment. GET IT DONE. I love you!

Ruth: Conversation. What do you mean this is impersonal? Not that it goes through 5 people, is read by 30, and has to traverse 3 continents...
question: Is power reliable in China?
Thought: You mentioned that the Lord loves his children, and I thought your story was really cool. I know this to be true. I prayed for some answers the other day and I recieved an answer 3 times in 3 different ways (from the Mission President, A letter from home, and the Scriptures) all of these were random but I know I recieved an answer. And when I followed what the answers told me to do... problem solved. China is probably 40x crazier than here in Pasaje, Ecuador but we will have to find out when we sit down and talk about all these crazy experiences. Love Elder Robinson

Christy: Bug Spencer. Love you!

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
-- Malcolm S. Forbes

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Conferences and Such

Family, Friends, y Padowans

Shout Out: Conferences! You have absolutely got to love these. They are just so much fun to attend. I am not lying to you, I think I have reached the "nerd" stage of Missionary Work: I love reading El Libro de Mormón, going to meetings, wearing a shirt and tie, and listening to conferences. We will talk about the conferences at a later portion of this letter.

My week: Conferences! Whoo... I don´t want to leave anyone hanging so I thought I would talk about these now. Some of my more diligent subcribers (my mom) will have realized that I did not write on Monday. Está bien. I was in Machala for Zone Conference. My P-day is today. The conference was AMAZING. It is our oportunity to meet with the Mission President and recieve feedback on our past 6 weeks of work. He spoke on so many different subjects with so much power and authority that I was surprised that I was absorbing it all. THEN I realized, after an hour or so, that it was all in spanish and that I understood ALL (well, if you call 97.937% "all") of what he was saying! Whoo! Spanish!

This conference was especially cool because I have had TONS of questions on my mind for the past few weeks and I prayed the other day to find answers to these questions. Cool Experience: all of my questions had an answer in the conference from the mouth of the Mission President, and it was not like I had to stretch what he said to apply to me it was like the following:

E. Robinson: "Dear Lord, I think that when we visit this person we are spending a little to much time, do you have an answer for this? Because my trainer and I disagree..."

President Johns: "Today I would like to talk about how long we are spending at the houses of Investigators and members, I am wondering if some companionships are struggling with deciding how much time should be spent at each place..."

Wow, talk about a direct answer. And that was a lame example. Litterally the first words out of the President´s mouth were an answer to another question I had. Basically it was really, really, really cool. I don´t think I have ever had answers come flowing to me so rapidly as they did yesterday.

Then, I had an interview with the President. These are fun. Now in a laughing way, but it is fun to have a one-on-one interview where you can discuss whatever. Well, I won´t go into details but President Johns asked me to say the prayer... and I forgot how to pray in English. Oops. I could not remember the words, "Dear Heavenly Father" so after 20 seconds of awkwardness I decided to pray in Spanish: "Nuestro Padre Celestial."

That was one conference, Zone Conference, the other conference was on Sunday in Santa Rosa. This was for all of the Branches in the area (Piñas, Arillas, Pasaje, y Santa Rosa). It was really cool, a 40 minute bus ride, but it was cool. We had 7 investigators go to the meeting. WOW, really really cool.

Note: the ride should be 45 minutes, but we were running late so our bus driver drove really fast and did it in 30. I don´t think even roller coasters can give me the same thrill as riding in a bus at 80kph, through banana plantations, in the wrong lane, dodging busses, people, cars, and narrowly missing accidents.

Family Segarra is back together. They should be baptised this week. Jenny actually does not have a job and will be baptised in 3 weeks. Family Chichande is amazing and Ruth Chichande will be baptised next week, her nieces and nephews and uncle will probably be baptised in 3 weeks. Sebastian... well we don´t know about him. He could be baptized today but I think that his Tutor (guardian) hates us and will no longer consent to the baptism. We shall see. All and all I hope to finish off this change with 8 or so baptisms, but only time will tell.

Now for things of UPMOST IMPORTANCE:

Mi Direccíon:

Elder Jeremiah Robinson
Mission Ecuador Guayaquil Sur
Casilla 09-06-286
Guayaquil, Guayas, Ecuador

You are supposed to use the "green" tag when you send things.

1. Family Segarra is MARRIED!!! and I was a testigo!
2. I think rainy season has started... or it just likes to sprinkle for 4 days straight, I can´t decide.
3. I don´t miss my family anymore (sorry about that, I just noticed it the other day) (And this does NOT mean that you can stop missing me, I am just to busy to think about you all the time.)

Elder Robinson

Mom and Dad: I took some money out from the Credit Card. This was for emergency purposes and such. Thanks, I hope this does not cause a problem.

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
-- Malcolm S. Forbes


Hey! I noticed you didn't write!! Bonus points to me. I guess you can subtract the bonus points because I didn't write you last week. We'll call it even.
Today I am cooking. Cooking, cooking, cooking. I was invited to join a group of girls in the ward who exchange freezer meals. This round there are six of us. We each make two meals- enough for six families (six serving sizes). That's roughly 36 serving sizes. We bag them in freezer bags and trade. Vwala! We now all have 12 freezer meals. YUM! So.... we're making huge batches of stew and stroganoff. Hyrum was supposed to be over at a neighbors while I cooked (we were going to trade babysitting) but their kids are sick- so he's been at my feet all morning while I've been at the stove. He wants to get up so badly. Usually I lock the oven (because he likes to pull on it)... but if its locked, he climbs on the drawer, holds onto the oven handle and climbs up to the stove. BAD BAD BAD. Does anyone else see a problem with this? So while the oven is not on, its not locked. When it IS on, it IS locked. Who taught him how to climb?
His other new... feat (not yet accomplished) is trying to sleep in the toddler bed. I need his crib come January, so we figured we'd try to switch him over to a bed. Hmmm. He says, "ni-night." (Night night) and lays down holding a blanket and looking very sincere about his desire to stay on his bed. Half a minute (or less) later he's off and playing, or opening the door, or turning on the baby monitor, or climbing on his dresser (yes, he can do this) or getting in the diaper pail, or, or, or, or, or. When we walk in- he JETS back to his bed and says, "ni-night" like he's never going to leave his bed again- because he knows he's about to be put in his crib. Sure enough- in the crib he goes and he HOWLS. Hmmm..... how long can we keep this up?
Sure do love you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day?

Family, Friends, and Other Possible Countries (France, China, The Hellenic Republic of Greece...)!

Shout Out: Yellowstone! YEAH! Need I say more? I submit that I do not.

Labor Day. I forgot about that Holiday, I hope you all enjoy it for me.

My Week: Wow, talk about mind blowingly CRAZY! I don´t even know where to start. (this could be possibly due to the fact that I don´t remember what did happen this week...)

Life here in Pasaje is still moving forward. We have 4 investigatores that have a Fecha Bautismal: Familia Segarra (2), Sebastian Orobio, y Ruth Chichande. We had another, Jenny Rojas, but she just got a job in Machala and she works everyday from 9am-9pm. This means that she can´t make it to church (which is a requirement for baptism). We will see what happens, we happen to be close to were she works (in Machala) and will visit her and convince her that salvation is slightly more inportant than money.

Beyond that... Nothing.

Now to talk of things of UPMOST IMPORTANCE:

I have recently started a new way of marking my scriptures, I am really excited. When it is finally completed in 2-3 years I will have every topic from "Desire" to "Great Apostasy" including "Athority" and "Fear" all at my fingertips. I am excited. However this new method takes a ton of work and I only have 3 hours to study every morning. 1 of which is mine, 1 of which is my companion´s and mine, and 1 of which is spanish.

The question was recently asked what do meals here in Ecuador usually consist of. Well that is a good question. I would have to admit that it really depeneds on who is cooking. Some people cook their rice with  beans, others add meat to the rice, while others venture by adding eggs. Actually, if I had to be truely honest I would have to admit that every meal has... RICE! Ingredients:

The Daily Meal

1/2 Plate White Rice
1/2 Plate Beans
1 Boiled or Fried Platano (kind of like a banana)
1 Bowl of Soup
1 Large serving of either Egg or Meat atop Rice

Serve Warm (this means cook the egg last, we wouldn´t want ANYTHING to be served cold, that is disrespectful)

1 Picher of Juice (never plain water)

I would have to ask one question back to the person who asked me that question...¿Do the kids live at the school with you? ¿How do living arrangements work?

Family. Wow. It has been great. If we can take one thing away from this week it would have to be that we are all ¡Children of God! ¿Right?

1. You should not serve fish with its fins, eyeballs, and bones AND expect your guests to eat the whole thing
2. Missionaries are always protected...even by drunk people (I guess the Lord uses whoever is around)
3. Family Segarra will be married tomorrow

The missionary who aparently is loosing weight but actually thinks he is gaining weight. Personally I believe this is just another excuse for people to try to get me to eat more food. THEY EAT A TON HERE.

Elder Robinson

Sister Judd: I was thinking. When my mom wanted me to calm down she would hold my hand. It always worked, it probably still works. I don´t know why but that is just the way I was. Maybe that will work with Sam.

Ruth: Yep, I think you are definitely in a missionary style of living. However, here in Ecuador we Missionaries live really comfortably compaired to the people. I have taught lessons in houses that our made out of slates of wood, have dirt floors, and no plumbing. My apartment looks like a mansion compared to 90% of the places here. Enjoy China while you can. I can´t believe I only have 20 months left in Ecuador, the time is flying SO fast!

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
-- Malcolm S. Forbes

Monday, August 31, 2009

Family Picture

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
-- Malcolm S. Forbes

Two Worlds...One Family

¡Familia y Amigos!

Shout Out: Spencer! Wow, you are in college! How does it feel, who are your roomates, have you kissed a girl yet, do you have a girlfriend, how often do you visit home, do you like your classes, are the teachers amazing, where do you live, is Cyd near you, have you told her hi for me yet, what is your favorite part of being out of the house, do you miss home...

News: Me! WHOOO! I have survived my first change here in Pasaje, Ecuador! WHOOO! 6 weeks. I am still partially in shock. I am currently in Machala, because I live with the Zone Leaders we have to be here all day to make sure missionaries that are coming and going make it out and in. The final bus will arrive at 6 tonight with our new zone leader Elder Rondón. I am excited.

As for the change, my companion and I did great. We baptized one person, taught 127 lessons (that is comparatively few seeing as how we have to travel TONS every day because our sector is HUGE!), had over 70 new investigators, and have a few baptismal dates set for next month.

We are working hard with a Family Segarra, they are really cool, but I am starting to think they are bipolar. My companion and I have been running around with their government papers trying to get them married, we finally got everything done (except the ceremony and signatures) and were returning their documents to them when they told us, well, actually the boyfriend told us, that they don´t want to be married and he has been kicked out of the house. Yet they still both want to be baptised... hmmmm.

Well, yesterday we called them and they want to be married again, and Johnny is back in the house... AH! I don´t know what to think. We need to get these people married before they change their minds again. The wedding is set for next Monday and my companion and I will be the witnesses. Cool no?

We were visiting with a family the other day when the mom told us that her son wants to be baptised! This was a shocker. The kid comes to church half willingly and he never seems to enjoy it. However, the mom told us that the family is "Catholic" and that like all "Catholics" they don´t have a clue why they are. So she told us that she also wants her son to be baptised because it makes sense to him (and probably because we have heard that he has started arguing with the local priest using our doctrine! This can make MASS a little bit interesting...) We will put a baptismal date on him next time we see him. His Aunt and sisters are also now attending. This will be interesting.

As for much else that happened this week... yeah, nothing.

1. Amy is cooking pig, I invite everyone to eat at her house, but I remind you that you are not a true Native of any country until you have Cow Intestine and Stomach (this makes me queezy talking about it...)
2. Changes are crazy
3. Drugged people are really dumb
4. Pakiquisha is the COOLEST part of my sector.


Elder Robinson


Spencer- Hey, I want to talk to your girlfriend so you should get one and have her write me. Actually, I really just want to hear about how college is going for you.

Ruth- China? Food? Culture Shock?

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
-- Malcolm S. Forbes

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Roomate Elders

From Left to Right... Benavides (my companion), Cespedes (Zone Leader), Me, Huamp (Zone Leader)

Think of Me...Think of Me Fondley... (Phantom...)

Family, Friends, Ruth,

Shout Out: LETTERS!!! I recieved my first batch of mail while being here in Ecuador. Took long enough, but I was able to read all about the happenings in the United States. I walked away from District Meeting (in Santa Rosa) with 20+- letters. I think the total for everyone else was somewhere around... 3. Way to go team! We did a really good job! Keep up the good work. I think we can definitely walk away from today with a good feeling because we are all Children of God right? (Oh, Christy. Way to go. I got ALL of your mail. While I was in the MTC you were sending all of your letters to Ecuador. I loved reading about your June and July though. Have fun being pregnant! Thanks for the 6+ letters)

News for the week: Well Family, I would like to anounce that I will never bring home a trained spider. I just want to get that off my chest. The spiders that lived above me as I slept got zapped by me the other day. Sad day. And I have one little factoid to disclose! All spiders in Ecuador jump.

This week was a wizz of information and stuff. I don´t really know where to begin. So let me start off with some questions people asked me:

1. If I had to describe Pasaje from the view from my window... I look directly into a basketball court. I live in a little Ushaped community. The road beyond the court is dirt, tons of dogs, and a store. I also have a great view of the mountains when there are no clouds (once again I would like to mention that I will never get a tan in Pasaje because it is ALWAYS cloudy). I can also see the Testigos de Jehova Temple (Jahova´s Witnesses), they have 5 in Pasaje). The colors for the most part are bland. My part of town is not very bright, if you are down in Center you see loads of colors... wait, that would be the Cathedral. My bad.

2. Pasaje is a small community of about 40k people. Most of the roads are dirt but some have pavement, others are under construction (and have been since before I was born), and others have a combination of cement and dirt (almost as if at one time they were paved...). Santa Rosa is a City 45 minutes away. It is big. I was there this week 2x. One for an interchange and the other for District Meeting (which takes place every week). Santa Rosa is slightly nicer than Pasaje. I am currently in Machala. I love Machala. It is a HUGE city 30 minutes from Pasaje. Though it is out of my district and we have to call the President every time we want to visit it. We are in Machala today because it is Pday and there is nothing to do in Pasaje.

3. Oh! Need I mention that anyone ever planning to visit Alaska is brilliant. I hear Grandma and Grandpa were just there. I would highly suggest being a summer tour guide there. And I also understand people´s needs to sometimes get out of Utah. I felt the same way. Though I cannot wait to return in 21 months. (Shout Out: Jeff, how was Utah bytheway?)

4. Confession: I have a weekness. Winning. I love to win. Sometimes I win and the expense of other people. Then when I see I hurt someones feelings I feel REALLY bad. Though I don´t show it usually. But I hate it when I hurt someone´s feelings (no matter how bad I might hate them). (Confession 2: Spencer! Hey Padowan! Adavina Que? Hice Trampa en Risk).

5. Oh, Now that I am out of the States I would have to say that one of my biggest regrets is not telling people how I really felt about things before I left. Odd no? Sending someone to a different country really makes them think about how things are going and how they should have gone. This is up next to my other great regrets of:

-Not receiving a letter to go to Hogwarts at age 10.
-Killing my sisters fish at age 2 (mom did not let me go to the park).
-I dropped an icecream once, let go of a ballon, and cried (age 6?).
-Loosing out on Soccer after age 15.
-Mistakenly believing that Alma, Nephi, and Moroni would be at the Judgement Bar when it really will be Nephi, Moroni, and .... I don´t know (this can make a huge difference on Religion Finals!)

For the most part I think that answers the major questions I was asked this week through letters. Interesting things this week: 7 investigators of ours were at church. I am excited for them. I hope they progress. They are at a disadvantage, seeing as how they are all under the age of 18 and require their parents signatures to be baptised.

Tracting is still going great. We are finding tons of people and I am really excited for next change. If things continue to go as they are then we will have TONS of baptisms. Elder Benavides and I are still getting along great and I am catching onto the language. Spanish is really difficult, but not as difficult as I would expect something like Chinese to be...

I cut down a banana tree for Service this week. Wow. What fun! They are jammed full of water! I actually did not cut it down. I can´t hold a Machete on the mission. Though, Hermano Reyes hit it once and we watched it fall, just before it hit the ground (the tree) he said "catch it!" Ouch! He gave us some for free. Lots of bananas!

We have also started English Lessons. This is a good way to find new people. Everyone here wants to learn English and everyone tries to speak to me in English. This makes it hard for me because I am trying to learn Spanish.

Family. I love you all so much. I am ending the letter here, but there is more for individual people down below.

The missionary who now has a pet lizard living in his room,


Elder Robinson

Jeff- Who is Elise? You mentioned her in your last letter and I don´t have a clue who she is...

Ruth- You will find that all of your questions were answered in this email. I hope it was to your satisfaction. I will send a follow-up email with an actual picture outside my window. How to contact me? I am not sure. I will get back to you on that. Thank you so much for both of your letters. I was really excited. Elder Benavides as my witness. When do you leave for China? Your questions: Are you more of a Neckless or Braclet person? Have you ever thought about a time period that you really would have liked to have lived it? I personally would love to live far in the future or sometime during the middle ages. Both seem to have some really cool plus and minuses. Chow!

Mom and Dad- Love you both tons.

Spencer- Have fun translating my message to you. When does college start? Love you tons as well.