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