Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mysteries and Miracles

Family and Friends,
Shout Out: Elder Dyer. Elder Dyer is my amazing trainee. I have only spent 4 weeks with him but I can honestly tell anyone that there is not a stronger (spiritually) missionary in the mission. His desire to do whatever it takes is incredible and I am super proud of him. I can honestly say that we will be great friends after the mission.
My Week: So I have been thinking allot lately about the "mysteries" that the Lord talks about in the scriptures. The things that none of us know but can be made known unto us if we "Pray, Fast, and Search the Scriptures diligently..." I was actually reading in the book of Alma, about Ammon and his brothers, and how they went preaching among the Lamanites. They went among a people that were absolutely terrible to the point that many a Nephites wanted to grab their arms and go to war. But seeing as how the word is a much better weapon than the sword (and far more effective) they went on their mission. The story has it´s ups and downs and then finally ends with the conversion of thousands of people. In the midst of all of these words we find that Ammon gives the glory to the Lord and says that it was through their diligence, faith, prayer, and fasting that these "mysteries" were made known unto them...
Now I am in a similar situation: I am among a Lamanitish group. Many of them think they believe in God but after a 30 second conversation you find that they really have no clue who or what God is. They love to kill each other (2 in the last week) and robbing is a staple of life. I feel like the Nephite. The outsider. The missionary: Ammon (highly wishful thinking). So I have dedicated my time to finding out the mysteries of this sector: Where prepared people are, where prepared families are, and where the spirit is strongest. Being Elder Robinson I feel that if there is someone that can do it: IT IS ME!!! or so I thought...
When I started this change I felt strongly that we should put our baptismal goal for 4 people. I prayed about it, thought about it, and then I finally set the goal. It is a high goal for this sector. In the last two years this sector has baptised 10 people and now I want to baptise 4 in 6 weeks. Week 2 we had 2 baptisms. This was perfect... Elder Dyer had the chance to baptise and now we only need to baptise 2 more.
Week 3: Our program fell apart.
Week 4: See email to the Family (Families eyes only)
Monday of Week 5: Actually, some of this takes place at the end of Week 4 but seeing as Week 4 was a mess... Elder Dyer and I were tracking Tuesday (last week) and we both felt prompted to talk with a certain home. We did and we found out they were members and that their daughter is 9 and ready to be baptised... so we will baptise her in week 6. The other night I was with Elder Tobar and we were visiting some Recent Converts. While we were there the Brother told us that his brother wanted to hear our message. His brother is 78 years old. We talked with him and he said that he would go to church Sunday: and that if he liked it... he would stay. Sunday came and went... and he asked if he could be baptised. We will baptise him week 6.
I will complete this change with the 4 baptisms but not in the manner that I ever thought possible. My way of working was putting all the confidence in myself: running from house to house in the high humidly hot heat, sweating sweet sweat, and practically prophetically preaching profusely. On the side I had my studies, a few prayers, my companion, and Preach my Gospel. But when it came down to finding the people that need to be baptised, the Mysteries of my sector, I had to wait until the Lord prepared them and handed them off to me. I am grateful for the fact that the Lord trusts me enough to teach these few souls.
The mission is hard. Honestly, I don´t know how we do what we do every day. When I was young my mom gave me this phrase:
"Why do I do What I do When I know What I know?"
When I was young it was obvious my mom was asking why I did everything horribly wrong on purpose (Beating up Spencer, destroying the house, skipping chores... normal stuff). Now, only a few short months later, the phrase is something like this for me:
"Why do I do What I do When I know: Nothing?"
Really, what do I know? I read the scriptures, study the lessons, speak the language... and I try to convert people. I don´t know how this process works without the Lord. So that is why I do what I do when I have the help of the Lord. Without his help... I don´t do anything... I just run around in the streets sweating. Pleasant no?
Thanks for reading my jumbled thoughts this week. It was a long week and I still need some time to clear my head. I am thinking of you all and I love you all tons: those in Utah, Thailand, Indiana, or people who like to change directions. It really doesn´t matter, I love you all! Thanks for the support I have from all of you.
And thus it is between the Mysteries and the Miracles: It all unfolds itself into one.
That is all.

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.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Elder Pino and Zone Conference

Family, Friends, and those who might fall into any other imaginable group,

Shout Out: SPENCER ROBINSON.... because... well, haha. wink ;)

My Week: Cutting to the chase: Elder Pino from the 70 came to our mission this week. We usually have our weeks planned out a few weeks ahead of time but this week... no. Monday night we received a call from the Zone Leaders to tell us that Tuesday we would have Zone Conference at 3pm. Tuesday morning they called us again to tell us that Zone Conference had been cancelled because Elder Pino did not leave Salt Lake City. We then received another call to tell us that Zone Conference had been moved to Thursday at 10 in the morning and that we had to be 30 minutes early with our hair cut, parted, shoes shined, suits nice, no cameras, can´t ask for signatures... everything. OK. We can live with that.

Wednesday night we got home and I noticed that my Area Book was in a different spot. Odd... I always leave it in the same spot beside my desk. Maybe Elder Balcone needed something and took some of our extra sheets. We started planning, getting everything ready for the next day when we found this note from Sister Johns:


(I will translate it to English)

We were here with the Pinos to see your apartment. It looks as if it has improved greatly since last time we were here. Maybe you could wash the dishes and keep your beds straight. Thanks for all you do. (then there was a bit more)

Love you,

Sister Johns
President Johns
Elder Pino
Sister Pino

AH!!! ELDER PINO FROM THE 70 CAME TO OUR SUPER DIRTY HOUSE!!! QUE TRISTE! Anyway, our house was not as bad as it could have been... but with how busy the 70 is... I think he only had time to see one house in the entire mission... and President Johns chose ours! That was embarrassing.

When we got to the conference the next day President Johns and Elder Pino had not yet arrived. We all sat studying (us and 80 other missionaries) waiting. The assistants then got us all together for a picture. When we were all set in place Elder Pino showed up with his wife and President and Sister Johns. We took a picture and then started the conference. When the conference started Elder Pino leaned over to President Johns and told him that he wanted to meet each missionary individually. So we did. I was sitting in the front row and was called to go meet him first. I shook his hand, he asked me a few questions, told me how wonderful Orem was, and then I went back to my seat. This process with every missionary went on for about 40 minutes. Elder Thayne was at the piano playing prelude music. The Assistants came over to me and asked me if I could take Elder Thayne's spot while he met with Elder Pino. I agreed to play one song. When Elder Thayne finished meeting Elder Pino he came over and said, "Thanks Elder Robinson, I think you got it for now..." and left me to play for the next 15 minutes. I had to somehow find ALL the hymns that I could play before the mission and play them now, perfectly, because I was super nervous. As it turned out I played far better than I ever have in the past. I am sure my prayers were answered (help me! help me! help help help!!!). Everything was good until I ran out of songs and was searching for another one and dropped the hymnbook on the piano... BLOANGG! Thank got every ones attention... and back to "Near my God to Thee!"

The conference was amazing. Elder Pino talked a ton about our purpose as a missionary and about our call letters. Spencer, you should read yours again... in depth. I thought a lot about my purpose as a missionary and the things I am asked to do, and have to do, every day and how they bless and open the gates of the Celestial Kingdom to all the children of God that live in my sector.

Side note: for the break President Johns asked me, "Elder Robinson! Excellent, can you play the piano again?" ("...and ye shall hide all of thy talents under a bushel" Book of Heresy 4:56)

This week I also had a great 2 hour talk with Sister Johns. What an amazing person she is. I learned a ton about their family and what it takes for them to be Mission Presidents. It really normalized them in my mind´s eye. I always thought they were superhuman spiritual beings... but nope... the Lord called 2 perfectly ordinary, yet worthy individuals, to spearhead the work here in Ecuador. I am blessed to work under them. It will be really sad to see them go.

Another week comes!

I love you all!

That is all.

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.

My Life in Pictures "Me and... "


Here is what I have done this week (or in the past few hours)!

Photo 1: Me and peanutbutter (can´t let anything my mom sends me go to waste!)

Photo 2: Me and a boat!

Photo 3: Me and a tree!

Photo 4: Me and a lizard!

Photo 5: Me and the waterfront (Malecone)!

Enjoy because I have!

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.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sisters Email


     I must say that if I am dropped from this email... I will not visit ANYONE until October 2012. So unless people want me to visit after the mission...
     Homesick. I think that is a cool topic. I am not that homesick. I don't miss much. Just the: grass, houses, climate, friends, family, parents, a car, alone time, air conditioning, running, school, Spencer, girls, food, cleanliness, people who speak English (not that Spanish is a problem anymore), politics, parties, staying up late, sleeping in... everything! But remember, I don´t miss much. What makes all of this a little worse, it that I am training a new missionary. Someone that was in the States until about 3 weeks ago. So where is his mind? In the states. This means that I hear a ton about movies, girls, family... everything that he is currently missing. Not that I am missing home again, but those dreams started up again, the dreams where I find myself at home, with family, studying, in the mountains... in UTAH! I dreamed last night that I was in Utah again, there was a mistake in my paperwork and for Visa reasons I had to go home 6 months early. I hate these dreams... because I feel TERRIBLE! I don´t want to leave the mission, because I can´t imagine myself anywhere else... but I do want to be home.
     It is a lot like those movies that people watch, the ones where the main character is far from home, or in space, or on some great mission to save humanity... the film directors always take time to reflect on what the main character HAD beforehand: his home, family, majestic views of his country.... or stuff like that. Also, this is always accompanied by some semi-spiritual music. This is how I feel lots of the time and there is always some music in the back of my head while I am thinking of home. Homesick... good topic for this week.
     Well, seeing as how I am not a father yet, nor have children, I can´t really relate to hurting my children on purpose. However, here in Ecuador I have seen a ton of people go through some of the hardest things (with tears, sobs, loss of family... the whole shebang!) just to repent of the things that have done in their lives. I guess that is the closest I can see, when our Heavenly Father lets us have these pains so that we wont RETURN to the lives we left behind.

Keep up the good work. Love you all.

That is all.

Elder Robinson


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Misionero Que Sube

14 April 2010


Dear Robinson Family,


I am happy to inform you that your son, Elder Jeremiah Thomas Robinson has  been assigned to serve as a Trainer in the  Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission. This is a very important and trusted  responsability in the mission.

Elder Robinson has prepared  himself for this responsability through strict obedience and faithful  service. He has shown his  willingness to serve the Lord by the example that he has set for his  companions and leaders and by the progress that he has made in his  personal development.

I know that Elder Robinson will magnify this  assignment and that it will be a blessing to you, to the mission and to  the Lord.

Thank you for your support throughout the course  of this mission. I sincerely hope that Lord blesses you and your family  as this great work continues advancing.



William S. Johns

Mission President

Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lost and Baptisms

Family and Friends,

     This week was yet another crazy week here from Guayaquil. My companion and I are working super hard to meet our goals... and yet we are finding that meeting our goals is the hardest thing to do. Looking back at my mission and the goals I have set... I have to admit that I have never had a problem in meeting my goals... then why now, that I finally have to train someone and start their mission out right with excitement, are we (I) finally having troubles meeting our goals? For example: For the last two weeks NO ONE has wanted to listen to us or to our message. This means that we have NO new investigators and that our program will quickly fall apart and we will have to restart everything (if you are not putting new investigators in EVERY week... the program dies). Anyway, starting my letter on that note... we did meet a goal this week that was SUPER unexpected.

     Last week for our planning session we put our goals together for this week and decided that we would have 0 baptisms or confirmations this week. Saturday night Familia Bermeo told us that they had everything ready for their marriage and that the Bishop´s family was going to be the witnesses. ¡Que Bueno! We decided then and there to set a baptismal date for them for the following Saturday. They were married Tuesday, we finished their lessons Sunday, they had their interview Wednesday, and were baptised Saturday. I have attached a picture of their baptism. What was even better was the fact that they asked my companion to baptise them. Even though he feels that he can´t speak Spanish, that we will never reach our goals, or that maybe missionary work was a little harder than he thought (He told me that he thought that being a missionary was easy, all you had to do was follow the spirit and baptise everyone that fell in your way... I remember when I thought the same things). His spirits were super elevated by the baptism and wow... what an amazing opportunity it was for me to be present. (In the Bermeo family they both are over 60 years old (he is 72) and they have been living together for YEARS... it is really cool to see how people can change their lives when they know what we are teaching is true).

     I also finished Jesus the Christ this week. I have now finished the entire Missionary Reference Library and I feel that my testimony has been put on steroids the last few months. What a powerful book Jesus the Christ is. I feel that I have gotten to know my Savior so much better and who he was as I have read this book. Also I am reading in depth the New Testament, I hope to have that one done before May 20th (the day I started my mission) so that I can go into my second year of my mission with a bang and teach and testify about what I really do know.

     That is basically the life of Elder Robinson. I am a little confused as to why some aspects of the mission have fallen apart but I am increasingly blessed by the little things the Lord puts in the way, and sometimes all he gives me is knowledge (but the baptisms were also anther big bonus).

Love you all!

Have a great week!

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.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Family, Friends, and All Others,

Disclaimer: I am not feeling very well so we are going to make this message short :)

Shout Out: Apostles and Prophets. Conference! What would we ever do if we could not listen to them every six months? Even, has it been six months since we last listened to them? I guess so... and wow does time fly.

My Week: Training a new companion is a lot different than I thought it would be. Everything that I took for granted... and stopped thinking about (as in I just do it) I now have to teach someone else. For example: We will be getting ready in the morning, or filling out paperwork, or updating forms... or whatever... and I do it without explanation... until my companion asks me "what are we doing?" and then I have to stop and think about it. It is a ton of fun and Elder Dyer is absolutely amazing. His Spanish is great but like all new missionaries it has a long ways to go. This means that I teach 90% of the lessons. Not what I like to do... but slightly necessary until my companion knows words like: sobre, consajeros, y ayuda.

Familia Bermeo will be baptised this week. They will be married tomorrow and then will be baptised on Saturday. I talked them into letting my companion baptise them. He is super excited and is memorizing the baptismal prayer.

The sector is moving along great!

I wish you all well!

Elder Robinson