Monday, January 25, 2010

Missions, Mao, and Marriage

Family and Friends!

Please excuse my illiteration... all the "m" words I put into the title. I plan on explaining this during my email.

This message is again brought to you from Milagro seeing as how Elder Robinson (and Bradshaw) are putting all the paperwork together so that we can have another marriage and baptism next week. What a great way to use a Pday. ("Mawuage... ´as brouught us here today..." (Princess Bride))

Shout Out: Zedek. Zedek is our family dog. Need I say more? I contest not.

My Week: We had planned for 2 baptisms this week. But as it happened we did not have them. But this week we will be having 4 baptisms! Familia Villalva y Milton and Marlow. YES!

So me and my companion are getting along great! Even though I think he is weird, but I think he thinks the same about me. We have yet to have a disagreement about anything and we just work great. We are working hard here in Naranjito. We should have 7 baptisms by the end of this change. (Ecuador is such a blessed land... I don´t think I will go a month in my mission without a baptism).

We set some high goals for the last week. We had a goal to find lots of new investigators and by saturday night we were 5 people short. So what do you do when you can´t do anything else?


Excelent. I love these types of prayers. If you read in Preach my Gosple, Chapter 6, the very last page, there is an excursize, under the title of "Faith" it says: Do you believe that God will complete with his promisses even if it requires a miracle? I firmly answer... YES!

Back to the prayer. I love these types of prayers because they go something like this... "Heavenly Father, This week was amazing and we are so honored to be missionaries in your service. Last week we set this goal and we are now 5 people short. We have one day left and we don´t know how we are going to find these people. We have done everything in our power and we now ask thee for divine help in completing with this goal." And... it always works out... never how we plan, but it just does.

How did we find these five people:

2- In church. Sister Correa brought a friend to church with her (we thought she was in Peru) and an investigator just moved into Naranjito from Milagro. (The investigator is amazing, we have not really talked to her yet, but I think she can be bapitsed in 2 weeks)

2- After Church... "Elder, lets talk to this house." The guy didn´t want to talk to us but he gave us the name of his neighbor and they listened to us.

1- At the fireside. Ok, so there were only 5 people there (and us) and one of the 5 is a friend of a member who just decided to show up. After the fireside we taught her one of the most powerful first lessons that we have ever given. It was cool.

So, nothing was really miraculous... but hey, we asked to find the five people necesary to meet our goal... and we finished the night with the last lesson that gave us number 5.

Moral of the story... cool no?

Weird News:

1) My companion

2) Mao, Missions, and Marriage

So there are three things in life that have seven rules. Only certain people know the rules and everyone else has to learn the rules through trial and error. These three things? Mao, Missions, and Marriage.

Why am I talking about this? This week I was thinking about Michelle, my wonderful cousin that will be married. Then I thought of advice that I could give to here... and well, Mao came to my head. Then I realized I am on a mission, which means that I am obviously in the best position to give devine advice (next week I will work on Humility). So here are my seven rules for Mao, Missions, and Marriage:

Rule 1: Don´t talk.

Ok, maybe we shouldn´t actually apply this rule to marriage. But in the mission it means "Don´t talk in English." But if I had to apply this to marriage I would say, "Don´t talk bad."

Rule 2: "Have a nice Day"

This has to be said after you play a 2 in Mao, if you don´t say it you have to pick up another card. Durring a mission or in Marriage... if your not having a nice day then why are you married or on a mission? I had a companion who ended ever day with the words, "Today was an excelent day!" Even if it was not the case.

Rule 3: "Point of Order"

I love this rule. It means that you can talk about ANYTHING and you can´t be punished for it. Sometimes this is needful durring a mission. Sometimes you just have to tell your companion, "wow, you are such a tin man, can you just work on Charity this week and grow a heart?" (Actually, I would never be that blunt... but hey.) Maybe if you have an eternal companion you will sometimes need to have a "Point of Draw."

(Kirsten, are you wearing masquera?)

Rule 4: "5s skip"

I think it was the 5. We have a day to skip things every week, we call it Pday. I love Pdays, they just make life work. Without them I would probably die. In marriage, I have found (ok, this is in a future tense, obviously) that we need days that are just FUN! I would definitly suggest camping or Yellowstone. If you are really brave you can try camping IN Yellowstone. Have some fun days!

Rule 5: "8s Reverse"

Or was it the 5 that reveresed? Anywho. This is a rule that really can make the game of Mao troublesome. But durring the mission it actually makes things work. Think of it this way, sometimes we are working so hard and... nothing happens. It is not until we stop, think, and do things in the opposite manner... and then we find results. Reverse the order sometimes if you feel things just are not working out. Marriage has the same application. Once again, as a missionary I KNOW!

Rule 6: "Mao"

You have to say "Mao" when you only have one card left. You say this so that no one is surprised when you suddenly win. During a mission I find it is best NOT to be surprised. I love it when things work out just how we planned and with perfect precision and on time. (like that ever happens). In marriage... yeah, get rid of this rule. Surprise each other every once in a while.

Rule 7: "Don´t touch your cards during a "Point of Draw"..."

There are just somethings that you can´t touch in the game of Mao. During the mission I hate it when my companions start talking about home, expecially MY home. (this is why Mary is in the title of this email). I had a companion that saw Mary´s picture and did not stop talking about her for a week. I thought I was going to die. It´s hard enough being away from home... and then to have a companion tell you how he is going to marry your cousin. Maybe this has some application for marriage... don´t talk about... nothing. Talk about everything in the mission... maybe touch everything to. Food, Culture, EVERYTHING!

So these are the rules of Mao, or the best that I can remember them here in the mission. Maybe they really have no revelence in the real world, to missions or to marriage, but I had a really fun time writing them.

If you do require a Urrim and Thummin to translate my decrepit English... cheers!

Your humble servent,

Elder Robinson

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Friday, January 22, 2010

New Family Member

Newest member, first one born while Jeremiah was on his mission 1 down, many to go! Welcome baby E!

Quizas debo olvidar nieve...


Family and Friends,

Shout Out: ... oops... maybe I should work on charity amor this week, I don´t have someone to be deeply apreciative of...

My Week: So, week one ended. We had 11 people at church, we worked hard, Elder Bradshaw and I are getting along great, and I am still in Naranjito (actually, I am in Milagro today.)

Elder Bradshaw is my new companion. He is cool but he is Gringo. In the field he is my first companion that is gringo and I hope the last. I love him to death.... but how can I learn spanish if neither of us speak it fluently? Oh well. Life goes on. The best way to discribe his personality: Collin Jenson on steroids, but I find that things like that don´t bother me anymore.

We had tons of lessons this week. We have three people that have a date set for baptism and 3 other people that have a 80% chance of being baptised this month.

One of our baptisms will be Sara Heredia. She is 60 and has a terrible disease that has attacked her bones and so she has funny lumps all over her arms and legs. She is always in TONS of pain but always has a smile on her face. We planned a special lesson for her, so that she would accept a baptismal date. During the lesson we didn´t follow our plans, we went straight into asking her the baptimal questions, ex: Do you belive in God the Father and in his Son Jesus Christ, and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the World... things like that. She answered positively to ALL of them. But, she does not want to be baptised until this disease has passed. She has had it for 6 years and is still having tests. She can´t walk, she can´t raise her hands above her head, she... just... can´t.

Well, we were sitting there looking at her. This was the first time that my companion had met her... so I was doing all of the talking. I turned to her and was very blunt, "Hermana, sabe que durante este vida (ok, I will let you all in) Sister, you know that during this life you may never have full use of your body again. We have explained to you that all of your sorrows and fears, pains and infermeties will leave during the next life. You will have a new body, you will be clean again, but not here and not now. All we can do at this time is prepare. That is why baptism was prepared for all of us. Sara Heredia, will you follow the example of your Savior and be baptised in preparation for the next life?" She accepted. We told her that we would come Sunday at 8:30 to pick her up for church in a car.

Sunday: We arrived at her house at 8:00. I wanted to be early so that we could help her prepare.

Sara Heredia was on her porch, dressed for church, sitting in her chair with her cain. Waiting for us. We put the car as close to the house as we could and only could watch as she painfully moved herself off her chair, and took every painstaking step to the car. We can´t help her because we can´t touch her arms, they are too fragile. She wimpered with every step and I didn´t really know what to think, so I stopped thinking, I just watched as she used ALL of her faith to make it the 10 feet to the car. It took her 5 minutes. We drove to the church, brought a chair our, put her in the chair and then carried her around.

I am looking forward to her Baptism. No one has ANY excuses not to go to church if Hna Heredia can go to church. We are planning her baptism and I am thinking that we will need 3-4 brothers in the water to help out. It is the amazing people like this that really make the mission great.

1. American Hate
2. Rain!!! Lots of Rain!!!
3. Cats
4. Dog with brain? Don´t ask, just don´t look at all the dogs...

Lots of love for you ALL!

Elder Robinson


Spencer- Where did everyone go on their missions? Like Adam Luis, your friends, Dave,... where where where?

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