Monday, July 27, 2009

Re: Change

Dear Family and Friends,

Shout Out- Christy. Its your Birthday! Wow. Way to go! You are getting older! I love you tons. Have a great day.

Well. No pictures this week. I forgot my camera. So I will give a great discription and I hope I don´t scare mom, but I am going to say some things I should probably save for after the mission. So mom. I am safe, but if you get queezy then stop reading... NOW.

I am in Pasaje. My companion is Elder Benavides. He speaks perfect english and spanish. He is from Columbia but has lived in the States with his Dad. He is a citizen of both countries. He rocks.

I hope you can count some of the ways I have changed in the last week in the following area:

I live in a small apartment with 3 other elders. The other two speak no english but know american songs perfectly. So they trick me by saying things perfect but then they have no clue what they said. They are really funny. I drink milk from a bag... or a box. It is really rich here. I only drink it with cerial. I get my water from bottles. We buy 4 giant bottles every week. about 20 gallons. Trust me... it is no fun to run out of water for 24 hours...

Ants. They are the only insect I ever see. They live on my counter. I am there friend. I leave them food sometimes. But I have found that if I pour natural water on them they die.... maybe I should take this to mean that I should not drink the water here.

A spider lives above me where I sleep. Actualy, a couple of spiders do. They are my friends. But I think one of them bites me every night. I need to train him.

I am always dirty. Everyone here lives in cement houses with Tin roofs, or wood roofs. They are really poor, have no windows, and are really dirty. The jungle is on the outskirts of town. it is really beautiful. I come home filthy and tired everynight. I have never been so tired. But I shower ever morning and often feel that I don´t get enough sleep.

I love the people. I have eaten some weird foods. Pineapple is not a common fruit here. But a member grows it. Day one we were stopped by a member and he pulled out a pineapple and a macheti. I thought I was going to puke. He cut it, talked to us, and then offered us some... I had to take it... ah!... It was really good. I mean it was fantastic! I had some extra slices. I have then since eaten almost an entire pineapple by myself. I swear that I have been blessed with different tastebuds for my mission. I hated pineapple before my mission. Oh! I have also now eaten cow guts. I thought it was weird, but I told myself I had to eat... until my companion confirmed my suspicions. Then I took a few more bites so the members could see that it did not bother me and then pronounced that I was full. I have also had toungue. Wow. that is just week one!

Pasaje is actually kinda dangerous. Mom, if you have not stopped reading then stop NOW. I am safe. I think. I feel safe. However we are slowly learning where we can and cannot go when night comes. We know of a drug house next to a members home. Have you heard of Latin Kings? it is a gang here. Aparently they kill people. Oh. So an old guy invited us into his home the other day. I was excited. No one had invited us in before. I did not know what he was saying. But my companion told me that he said that he had killed 2 people. He was old. What could the problem be right? I did not understand the conversation but this is what my companion told me afterward. We went in his house, my companion intentionally left the door open. I had the thought ´´I think other people are here...´´ my companion had the same thought. we sat down. the old man got up and shut the door. he then told us that he usually kills people in his house if they have money. My companion explained that we had none. He told us where he killed the other two people and dumped their bodies. In a river. He said that he has to kill someone else. He asked us to give him money. My companion explained again that we had none. He told us where his guns were. I had a bad feeling. The conversation went on for 5 more minutes. He asked for our names. He wanted us to write them down. My companion scribbled them illegibly on a paper and gave it to him. We lied and said we had another appointment. We left in a hurry...
We don´t know if someone else was in the house... and he is really old and small. But me and my companion had a very bad feeling about him.

Since then we have walked past people at night with loaded guns, multiple times have had the feeling to move, and walked past a man with a bloody face who looked really angry. Welcome to Pasaje. I love this town.

It looks like I will be here for 6 months. I love it. It is cloudy every morning until 1ish. then it it really hot, then it cools down at 5, then it is really cool. But usually it is clowdy. The mountains are close. The jungle is awesome, I will get a picture of it this week. We will be working on the mountain this week. Me an my companion are opening this area. We love it. He goes home in 3 months though, so when he goes I will train the next person on the area- this is probably why I will be here for 6 months.

I love it here. I am blessed. I feel safe (but every night I wake up to some animal screeming...) I sleep with no sheet and the windows open. Dogs are everywhere. We have to be really careful when we shop. Can´t buy to much in the presence of people. I live with the Zone Leaders.

Oh! I have my first baptism this week. Betty. She rocks. If we play our cards right we will have 9 more within 6 weeks. Following the spirit rocks. We found an amazing family on accident. We don´t even know how we got there. That is just how the spirit works. Pasaje is an awesome place, it is cooler than Guayaquil, and for the most part safer. Don´t worry about me.

The Elder who makes friends with the Insects.

Elder Robinson

Mom- Did you read this letter? Shame.

Ruth- Hey, I don´t know how letters are going to work yet. I will answer your questions in this part of the email when you ask me stuff. I will also pose my questions here.

Anyone else- Did I forget something?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

First Area

Family and Friends,

Because I am new in the country I have a few extra emails. This will be my last one until Monday (which is my P Day). My last email ended and then litterally... All Heck Broke Loose.

Not that it was a bad thing. I was just moved to a different house. Then I was told that my companion was 4 hours away. Then I stayed the night at a really different apartment. Then I took a 4 hour bus ride to Santa Rosa, Pasaje is the area I work in. My Companion is Elder Benavides. Wow. I dont really know what to think right now. I could tell you tons but you really dont want all the details. Moms read these things. I have to run. We have a baptism in 2 weeks. I will email in more details monday. I love you all.

Shout Out to Elder Griswold. He has to stay in the City of Guayaquil. I miss the Elder already, he was the best companion ever.

The Elder who really needs to learn spanish because he is the only "gringo" in 30 miles.

Elder Robinson

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Hey family and friends,

I am finally in Ecuador. I arrived late last night. I slept at the Presiden´s home because the temple, where we usually stay, is closed. It is really nice here. I have only been inside the entire time because we have to wait for international missionaries to arrive, that should happen within the next 20 minutes. Then we have lunch, orientation, receive new companions, and go to work (possibly tomorrow). Ecuador is pretty and brown. Spanish is dificult to understand but I think I will be ok.
Shout Out: Mom, she made me No Bake Cookies. THey got me through the last few days of the MTC. I love those.

Thank you everyone for your support. I will take many pictures and send them home. Any questions? shoot me an email or a Dear Elder.

Elder Robinson

The Missionary who has already given away a Book of Mormon (on the Plane ride down)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hola! S America Here I Come!

Family and Friends,

This email will be really short. But I have my reasons.

Shout Out: Ann. Apperently she is the first one that wrote me in South America. I don't know yet. But I am excited to get that letter.

If you want to write me remember to use and have the website (it has a dropdown menu) send it to the Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission Headquarters. It is free for you and fun for me.

I leave early in the Morning on Monday. I am excited and this week has been a wizz. I have learned how to confuse myself with Spanish, teach with the Spirit, and get along with a companion. That is what the MTC is for.

I love you all. I will write a ton more next week.
If you want to send me a package in Ecuador here is the address. Apperently you have to use a "green" slip. I don't know what that means. Otherwise it is likely to be stolen.

Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission
Calle G. N 601, Edif. Mallorca, 3 Piso
Colla. Kennedy
Guayaquil, Guayas

(I am reading this from my companions really bad handwriting, so it might be wrong.)

I love you all!

Elder Robinson

Mom- A box is comming. They should call you. I hope you get it. I want you to listen to one of the tracks on the CD for Family Night. I also want you to copy that track and email it to some really cool people (Mary, Michelle, Ruth...)

Michelle- I saw Justin at the Temple today. If he does not say hi to you for me slug him.

Amy- I ran into Patrick Webb. Apperently you know him. He told me to tell you hi. He works at the MTC.

Dad- I don't know the Pin for the Credit Card. Sorry about that. Could you get that to me? Oh, I withdrew 120$ from my checking account today (travel purposes).

First Mission Pics

Jeremiah and Elder G, his first companion.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Flight Plans to Equador

416 Salt Lake City 6 AM
Dalls/ FT Worth TX 9:33 AM

1208 Dallas/ FT Worth 11 AM
Miami, FL 2:55 PM

933 Miami, FL 5:15 PM
Guayaquil, Ecuador 8:35 PM

Travel Plans!

Family, Friends, All!

I have my Travel Plans. I am finally leaving the MTC in just over a week from now! Here they are:
(ok, see next post)
Beyond that. My week has been great. If you try to contact me using after this Thursday I will not recieve your letters here at the MTC, so please use the website to address them to the Guayaquil South Mission Headquarters. I will get them in South America. I would highly suggest everyone use if you ever want to say something to me. Letters take 2-3 weeks. Way to long for news to get around.

Shout Out: This week the winner is: Ruth. Yep. Ruth is the only person that answered ANY of my questions that I posed last week. In fact: Spencer. You failed at your specific assignment. I still love you all. But Ruth wins. Sorry, I really won't send you a cookie. Maybe I can figure something else out. Don't kill me if it is actually Cantonese like I think it is.

My week: Um... boring. Except I get to leave soon. Elder Griswold and I are still getting along great. We have an absolutely awesome companionship. Spanish is comming along great. We now speak only in Spanish and I am really struggling with putting sentances together in my head. However, I can work at a one-word-at-a-time-pace. It gets the job done. The good news: I can now listen to American Spanish Speakers and understand almost everything they are saying. Whenever I talk to a native I have trouble understanding what is being said because they have different dialects kinda like the South has a different fom of English than the rest of the United States. It just takes some getting used to. I am not worried about my Spanish though. It will come in time.

Thought of the Week: Pendragon. I would hightly recomend you read this series if you want to understand Satan and the War in Heaven. I was thinking about it this week. That series has so many parallels between Satan and the bad guy Saint Dane. Here are a few:
Satan and Saint Dane both wanted everyone to be good.
Satan and Saint Dane left thier "heavenly home" to controll the people of earth
both think they are right (hence Saint Dane has the word "Saint" in his name)
Both only influence people to bad things, they don't actually do them.
Both are opposed by "heavenly" beings
People have to choose to follow them (Satan and Saint Dane)
Both eventually loose in the end for the same reason. Satan looses because "the foundation of the Great and Spacious Building is Pride" and Saint Dane falls because he gets so Pridefull in his work that he fails to recognize some key things in his followers and in eventually conqured.
When they are beaten both Saint Dane and Satan are cast bound and have no more power. Actually Saint Dane ceases to exist, but same difference right?

So read the books. They are really good. And I wish I had finished them before I left for my mission.

I hope everyone is having a great week. This letter is short because there is really not that much stuff to report from the MTC. But in a week I will have SO MUCH STUFF to say.

Wish me luck.

Elder Robinson.


Dad- How are things going? I have not heard from you in a while. Everything still great at home? Mom mentioned that you were making some great progress at the Rental and on the Home.

Spencer- I still love you, but you did fail last week. I believe in forgiveness. Have a great week.

Family- I really really love you all.

Mary- I ran into two Teicherts today. One recognized me and I have not seen her since I was a young child. The other one had no clue who I was, It was a really fun conversation though. The one that knew me was Rodney's older sister.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Copy of Letter

Hey how is it going? Did you receive our postcard from Philly? (Hopefully you have) There was a lot to see and we had a lot of fun. I will mail you a letter with pictures in it of our family, since you have no access to our blog. Hey do you have any friends that want to access the blog that can't?
Is the flu any better? Hopefully you are still healthy and sound, and not going crazy!
Jeff say's he'll write but he is busy catching up with work since our vacation. He says to remind you that you must ONLY speak Spanish. Push yourself and you'll do well. :) (Easier said than done, he gave me the same advice when I started with my German)
There really isn't anything new, but I wanted to make sure you knew that we were still praying for you and that we miss you.
Have a great day and a great weekend!
Love you!

Ps. Any funny mission stories yet?

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July from the MTC

Family! (wow, what an overused opening...)
Yet I don't have a better opening,

Hey! I wanted to remind you all that in a little over two weeks a certain Elder Robinson (there are a few of us here) will be in Ecuador! It is a scary and a satisfying thought. I don't think I know spanish well enough (you will understand in a minute) but I think after 6 1/2 weeks at the MTC I am ready to go. Plus, I am not sure if I have gained weight and I am afraid to find out. Tengo Meido.

Shout Out: Jeff. Wow, this is like a weekly award cerimony. Jeff wins this week's Shout Out because he rocks. The letters I get from him each week are super funny and they are enjoyed by not only me but those in my room (only the funny sections I read outloud). Jeff, I really look up to you, your advice is great and I am so glad you are my brother.

Weekly News: Actually, this section probably gets shorter and shorter every week. Want to know a secret? Ok, I will tell you: I do the same things every day. So I am pretty sure I have told you all what I have done a couple of hundred times.

Points of Interest: (1)I taught a few more lessons in spanish this week. The language really does rock, and it is really starting to make sense to me. In fact, the few native spanish speakers that are around I can understand (somewhat) and I can't wait for Ecuador so that I can really get this language-learning portion of my mission underway.

Special Note: We were talking to the advanced spanish group the other day and they thought that we were advanced. Truth: we actually don't know how to speak spanish. We just say really stupid things like: Bird with a bug in its mouth, the sky is sad (this means it is raining, I made it up myself), (your favorite phrase followed by) de muerte!, and bobo (which we are told really is not a word, but we use it to mean "retarded, or simple or stupid...". We also say Chido, but we pronounce it Chito, but a girl today told me it was Chido (d makes a th sound in spanish). See my spanish really is not that great.

(2) I wrote a really funny contract the other day and made everyone sign it. I now have the power to enforce HSI (Hable Su Idioma= Speak your Language) and tell people to stop speaking English "El idioma de engles es bobo, hable espanol!" Everyone signed it except Elder Johnson. He is the new Zone Leader and me and his companion are trying to get him to speak spanish and he really does not want to sign anything that will give us power over him. But the truth is he is just missing out on a really funnily written document.

(3) I decided the other night that I was going to write something in my next email in Spanish. So that is what I am going to do. It is just a simple prayer. But this way you people know that I do actually speak another language. Read through it. I think you would be surprised with how many cognates there are in english and spanish (words that sound alike)

Mi Padre Celestial,

Te doy gracias por esta dia muy bonita. Te doy gracias por mi compañero y este tierra. Por la montañas y lagos y todos cosas. Te doy gracias por su evangelio y su hijo Jesucristo y el expiacion de Jesucristo. Padre Celestial, gracias por mi familia y salude y fuertaleze para ellos.
Padre Celestial. te pide por el espiritu santo siempre.te pide por la gente de Ecuador. Por salude y fuertaleza in mi vida y en la vida de mi compañero. Te pide por todas cosas yo laventarse necisito (that sentence has a few problems in it.)
En el Santo nombre de Jesucristo, mi salvado y redentor, Amen.

See I can speak spanish. It just usually does not make sense.

(3) I had a really cool conversation with mom last week. All of you missed out. I love mom.

(4) Gideon. Wow, what a cool guy he is. Me and my companion were teaching a lesson the other day about Moroni and Pahoran when I realized that Pahoran fled from the evil kingmen to the land of Gidion. Here is my question. Why does the book of Alma begin with the death of Gidion and end in the land of Gidion (relatively). And why whenever evil kings are among the Nephites does the name Gidion appear. (if you don't know what I am talking about read up on Evil King Noah and the evil Kingmen at the end of Alma).

(5) I promised pictures this week but because of the 4th of July the store is closed... lame no?

(1) Rumor has it that the GOP is struggling. Is this true? Is it true that Mitt Romney is rising to the top? Whoever gets me this answer first gets a cookie. I can sneek one out of the cafetiria and slip it into an envelope for you! VERY IMPORTANT I MUST KNOW!!!!

(2) Who won survivor a month ago? Man, you all are way behind on the times if I don't even know this yet! (hint: google search "survivor" and click on the first link that appears.)

(3) Is monsoon season over yet?

(4) Have Christy and Leif named their child yet? Because if they have not tell me, I have some really cool names I can give them.

(5) Who want to, you know, go to the temple around 10:20 not this next friday but the next one? You should consider it. But I am not endorsing anything. Nor should you probably do it.

That is the gist of my letter home this week. Beyond this is for individual people. So scan over the list, read what you like, but otherwise you can stop reading now if you so desire.

Mom: I loved the conversation last week. Thanks so much for that. We probable will never be able to do that again, I don't have enough time.

Mary: You rock. Get better. I really wanted to tell you something but I always forget by the end of my emails. I hope you get better soon.

Spencer: Very important. I need you to do the following: In the movie "Transformers" there is a really funny line. It is when they are going to buy a new car but they end up at that really dumpy carlot. (the place where they buy Bumblebee) Anyway, the funny quote. You know the clown? The owner of the lot yells, "Manny, get out of that clown suit!" And then the clown shouts back. What does he say? This is really important. We play volleyball everyday and the sun is often in my eyes. I need something to say and translate into spanish that is really funny. Google will probably work best. Thanks! (the quote is something like... "hot, sun in my eyes, it burns...")

Hey! I love you all. Thanks for being amazing.

Elder Robinson

ps. I listened to Elder Holland last week. I saw 7 general athorities. I love the MTC.