Monday, October 25, 2010


Family and Friends,

Today brings another chapter in the lives of those that interact with the Robinson clan... Ann and Jeff Maas just had another baby (Girl, born 1 day late, 22 October). All is well in Zion.

This week was great. We had a huge ward activity that took me 2 months to plan. It went for the whole day, was a success, and we walked away with 86 references from the members. I will send pictures next week.

Last night the Zone Leaders surprised me by telling me that I could go to Bucay today... So I went with my district. It was a great trip to visit the mountains. I took tons of pictures... but I am really tired now.

Maybe next week I will tell you more. But until then,


Elder Robinson

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Once upon a time...

Family and Friends,

My last email that I sent out was short. I was not feeling the best when I sent it. However, I feel great now and would like to give a true update on how my week was for all ya´ll.

Missionaries Tale:

So the life of a missionary never was and never will be a fairy tale. Yes the mission does begin with "Once upon a time..." and the hope is it will end with "...happily ever after!" but there is a LOT between "Once upon a time..." and "...happily ever after!" We missionaries, like in the fairy tales fight monsters, adventure to exotic places (Sorry you lost out on that one Elder Robinson II), take on quests, meet enchanted peoples, learn, grow, receive battle scars (or parasites), and every now and again we come out conqueror (baptisms). I have seen all of these phases in my mission and I will relive many of these phases time and time again until I am once again home safe. So here we go...

Once upon a time... there was a young man known to all as the Great Lord Jethro. (In this story, to save on ink and unnecessary red tape... the Great Lord Jethro will be known by his shorter title: Elder Robinson). Elder Robinson lived in a far away land, far from home, friends, family, and loved ones. He would arise each morning, exercise, eat, and prepare. Every day he was expected to face unknown foes in overgrown forests, or witty thieves on dusty open roads, but through it all Elder Robinson was prepared. Using a book as protection and with a trusty Aid at his side (commonly called: the companion) he braved every day... never knowing if it would be his last.

Our story for this evening brings us to a time in the tale of Robinson the Great, or otherwise known as, Elder Robinson, when he was roaming in the Shiredom of Fatima where the Virgin Queen Fatima herself ruled as the Great Matriarch. In this untamed realm Elder Robinson was to establish the Kingdom of his great Master and King Christ. Starting the early morning of Monday, before the average dragon and bluebird had awakened Elder Robinson was busy preparing himself for the weekly preparations. With other Elders, known as the Great Castro of Collinsbury, and the Great Hebdon of Wishingsberg (hereto after known as respectively: Elder Castro and Elder Hebdon) he began a treacherous 3 week routine to increase his physical strength and durability. Arising every morning, to the sounds of the early market, they three would brave the home-made-weight-set and the "Perfect Pushup" bars until, with prideful delight, they three were doing 120 pushups. Not important to the story.

This week would bring news of great fortune to our beloved Elder Robinson. Monday at dusk leaders called to inform Elder Robinson that he and his band would be expected in the Cement Jungle of Guayaquil to conference with their grand General Montalti. Tuesday passed in a rush. Elder Robinson and his trusted companion Elder Cruz spent the day preparing for a Sacred Service of Baptism for one of their beloved friends. As they prepared it came to the general attention of all that Sara Suares of Vargas would not be pursuing her dreams to baptise. She, having lost desire and valor, would rather postpone. With loving respect both Elder Robinson and Elder Cruz acknowledged her decision and continued to prepare the service for Squire Smith Jesus of Vargas Tomala.

Wednesday, early, mounting a steel steed Elder Robinson and Cruz road to the Cement Jungle of Guayaquil and conferenced with their Grand General Montalti. Excitement, emotion, lies, humor, and deceit were part of the conference process and with a quick smile and a cunning stare... the Elders returned to their home in the land of Miracles. With much to think about and more than a little fear to face the trials ahead Elder Robinson and Elder Cruz went back to work. Unfazed, undaunted, happy, with the knowledge that the Eye is ever watchful.

Thursday, with the help of faithful Rolando the Elders changed the coarse of the war they had waged and moved the front lines (and their house) to the shiredom of the heretofore mentioned Queen Fatima. From the close proximity of their current holding the Elder Robinson could wage a more perfect war against sin and ignorance, advancing the Kingdom of the King Christ. Though, tough as it was, Elder Robinson and Elder Cruz had to live alone without the ever present protection of Elder Castro and Elder Hebdon (who having been poisoned weeks previously and still being sick was finally diagnosed with parasites). The fellowship of 3 had split and in a future tale we shall see if Elder Robinson keeps up with his morning workout routine. Not important to the story.

Friday Elder Robinson fled to the Land of Miracles yet again to fight beside Elder Castro in the far reaches of the land among the fields of locusts and scanty dogs. Elder Hebdon fought alongside Elder Cruz in the Shiredom of Fatima and without fail everyone prevailed! Even during this great day the Mistriss Avila married her fiance Mister Gonzalez, so that he might be baptised the following week.

Saturday was the Grand Banquet Baptism of Squire Smith Jesus of Vargas Tomala. Baptised by his brother: Sir Santiago of Vargas Tomala. A memorable night never to be forgotten. And though Smith was not bestowed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit (The following day) he has been put to oath that he will attend the next Sunday to receive the Heavenly Gift. Sir Santiago of Vargas Tomala blessed the emblems of our King Christ during the Sunday Meetings and with a twinkle in his eye and joy in his heart Elder Robinson finished his week the Great Conqueror.

Finishing the night, calling all of his troops home and receiving an accounting from every one Elder Robinson, The Great Lord Jethro began to prepare for his next long week. And climbing into bed, with a prayer of thanksgiving to his great Lord and God... Elder Robinson finished his week... Happily ever after.

Elder Robinson

Fwd: Family and Friends,

I don´t have much to report this week. The roads I walk are still hot and dusty. The paint is still peeling on the walls of homes. The sugar cain houses are still an every day teaching setting. The river and fields are my constant friends. In the heat of the day I listen to the silence (when buses are not passing from Guayaquil) of the flies and the dogs. The language is still alien... but I am the alien here. I am a normal human encharged with the salvation of the souls who know not the truth. I love it. The trails, the lessons, the ups and the downs, the heat, the noise, the smells, the culture, the language, the other missionaries, the wards and branches, the leaders, and prayers, the fasts, the studies, the animals, the cement houses, the brick houses, the tin roofs, the ancient people, the younger generations, the converts, and the investigators are all part of the mission. This great cycle that begins and ends every two years: is my life. The committees, the reunions, the youth, the meetings, and the activities... everything. I love it. My charge gives me energy to find and teach every single day. The weird looks I get when people recognize me as an outsider are the norm. The streams, the fields, and the falling ash are my silent companions. And yet these people... so lowly and humble living in their shanty huts... often accept the Restored Gospel. The roads will get longer, hotter, and dustier. As such, I don´t have much to report.

You keep me going,

Elder Robinson

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Puzzle

Family and Friends,

The Happenings of 7 Consecutive Days (Notices from the Middle World)

The last few days have been odd. I am on the luke-warm side today so I wont be writting very much. We had a great week full of some ups and some downs. We changed houses this week. and we finally live in KM 26! The first missionaries that have ever done it!!! It is cool to finally live in our sector... but now we dont live with Elder Castro and Elder Hebdon. That is a definite down. I love those two Elders. They and our evening chats will be missed.

President Freire, our Bishop, is helping us a ton with our plans to have "Dia como Misionero!" We talked with all the ward members yesterday (oh, Church without electricity... a divine experience indeed) and about 40 of them told us they will show up and participate. I think we will start planning for 60ish people... that way we won´t have any surprises.

Is it just me or... is it getting really hot? I think the house we bought had a previous life of an oven. Or Ecuador is entering those months where if one touches something... the something is drenched in the sweat of the one.

Reading all the family emails was great. I love you all. I am excited that everything is still going great.

My great news this week: Smith Vargas was baptised. He just needs to be confirmed a member of the church.

Letters will be sent out this week. We have not received mail in... over a month... so I dont think I am going to wait any longer. I am just going to write some great letters to ya´ll.
That is about it folks. This is the great puzzle of my life: To know what to do and how to do it without making enemies or getting nothing done in the process.
I with Sara Skousen luck with her wedding preparations.

Send me questions if you want answers!
Home! You got to love it!

Elder Robinson

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Monday, October 4, 2010


Family and Friends,
Some interesting things happened this week and it put me to thinking... When I was 15ish I read this poem... it fit my life well:
The lions sing and the hills take flight,
The moon by day and the sun by night,
Blind man, deaf woman, jackdaw fool...
Let the Lord of Chaos Rule!
Not that I am an agent of Chaos (like I was a few year back)... but that is just what happened in The (last) Happenings of 7 Consecutive Days (Notices from the Middle World):
We started this week off great. We have some high goals we are trying to meet... and it requires all of our time and effort to do it. We want to finish off October with 5 baptisms. We have the names of the people, 4 of which have baptismal dates, but working through their personal problems is a muddy mess. We love it thought! Monday we had a Family Home Evening with Santiago and his wife Sara Suarez de Vargas.
*Pause* Sara Skousen- You have some explaining to do. Engaged! I await your response by next Monday.
Sara taught obedience and the 10 commandments. For a family that still doesn´t know the in and outs of the church... I love their Family Home Evenings! We will be with them tonight.
Tuesday we had a full day. Teaching lessons, contacting, walking by the river... all of it. I love Ecuador!
Wednesday I had an interchange with Elder Mejia. I worked in the city and my companion went to 26 with Elder Palmer. It was a worthwhile interchange. I love the interchanges I have with the missionaries.
Thursday was a different day. The day just felt different... We went to 26, worked for 2 hours before lunch and made our way to lunch. I thought things were a little quiet... I didn´t notice that all the buses that pass the 26 to go to Guayaquil were not passing... When we stopped in for lunch I thought it was weird that all the shops were closed... but I didn´t think anything of it. The family ushered us in and told us that the Zone Leaders had called and that we had to return home immediately without questions. As it turned out the National Police Force (the cool guys that think they know how to use guns and bring peace to Ecuador) went on strike against President Correa, took him hostage, and decided they were not going to work... Ecuador went into CHAOS! Thieves were everywhere. The 2 bridges from Guayaquil were taken over by mobs and closed (that is why no buses were passing the 26). Stores everywhere were mobbed and trashed. As we left 26 we heard gunshots and decided to take a back alley road to make it to the bus. People started burning tires in the streets to close the roads... fortunately the highway between 26 and Milagro stayed open. In Guayaquil the Missionaries from the Island (next to my last house) were taken out by the office. I called Independencia and Elder Vuinovic sounded SUPER shaken... they had no clue what was going on... but the most dangerous sector in the mission went MAD! Milagro stayed calm... but the Shopping (the mall) was robbed and everything closed down. We played chess all day and sat around. That night we went over to the Bishop´s house and watched the news. While we were watching the news station was taken over by mobs... it was interesting to watch how the anchormen... knowing that people were trying to break in... kept their cool... I think the newswoman broke into tears thinking she was going to die. All of the major events took place in Quito... but like I said the entire country went crazy. That night the military stepped in and rescued President Correa. Many people were wounded and 4 people were killed. They tried to kill President Correa, but the bullets and bombs all missed him. Everything is back to normal now... but nobody trusts the Police.
Conference was great. I loved the talk that Elder Holland gave. Both talks from Elder Uchdorf were amazing and I was enthralled by the entire conference. I don´t have words to express it all.
We are planning two more baptisms for this Saturday. Wish us luck! It will turn out to be a White Night with 5 other baptisms from other missionaries from my District.
This month is going to work out great!

Elder Robinson

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