Monday, April 25, 2011

"...y nuestras vidas tambien han pasado si fuera un sueƱo..."

Family and Friends,
I was quite thrilled to read the all the news and emails you sent me this week. I should say I have been quite blessed to hear from so many of you through the coarse of the mission. There are so many Elders who never hear anything from their families after the first few months and it takes a hard toll on them. Thanks for the continuing support, emails, letters, packages, DearElders, and prayers.
I read Elder Robinson (II)´s email that he sent out to the family. A week full of woes and questions unanswered. Those weeks do pass every once in a while. My week was the same: something to forget about. The good news is: My car didn`t break down this week, my bike doesn´t have a flat tire, and my investigators didn´t stand me up for any of my appointments... or... um... The truth be told: I don´t have a car, nor do I have a bike, and I don´t currently have any investigators that could have stood me up for an appointment anyway. For 70% of the week: it was a terrible. Maybe Elder Robinson (II) and I are twins and pass through the rough days together.
We wont even talk about the week.
The light usually shines brightest in your darkest hours. This week we were visited by President Nash. The President of the South America North East Area. We had an amazing conference Wednesday. The spirit is always stronger when a General Authority arrives and teaches. And so it was with us.
We waited about 30 minutes for the conference to start because Elder Nash was on his cell phone with one of the Twelve (he never told us which). Then the Conference started with Elder Nash saying "I have an impression, but I don´t want to share it with you yet. Maybe as the day goes on..." That got us all thinking: "what does President Nash feel like he should say to us?" We later found out.
The conference lasted about 5ish hours and there came a moment when Elder Nash asked us to define the word Faith. Now... a General Authority of the Church of Jesus Christ was asking us to define faith... I decided I was not going to throw out a "Ether 12:6" or an "Alma 32" answer. Actually, I decided I was not going to answer. Nonetheless the first two definitions of faith came out of Ether 12, Hebrews 11, and Alma 32. Way to go! I felt like the General Authority was looking for something deeper. I had no clue what. So I opened my Book of Mormon in the book of Mormon. I was in chapter 9 and I decided I would read backwards... just to see where it got me. I kept an open ear to listen to the remarks that other elders and sisters were making but somehow I felt that maybe he was waiting for us to share something deeper... like a promise... I kept on reading backwards. I came across Mormon 9:21 and I thought it was an amazing scripture. One that I had not read in a long while (or noticed), but I still didn´t want to share anything. Holding my light under a bushel was suiting me just fine that day. 15 minutes later... the faith topic was still going strong and I felt prompted to share; finally having had enough courage to read my new found scripture, I shared it. Elder Nash looked at me. Paused... and asked me to repeat the scripture. I felt like an IDIOT. That will be the last time that I ever try reading the Book of Mormon backwards in a Zone Conference. He then asked me for the reference. I gave it and quickly sat down.
The Conference finished really well. President Nash told us that we could raise our baptisms to 400-600 a month. I would love to see that promise fulfilled even if I am not here to do it with the mission. Elder Nash then said, "Just over one hour ago I received an impression from the Spirit (as if talking to the spirit was like a normal phone call from one of the Twelve) to share with you all the following scripture... I will now do so." He pulled out his Book of Mormon and started reading in Mormon 9. He started in verse 18... and ended the conference with verse 21. As he reached verse 21 he looked at me and said, "This scripture was already shared with you today." And he ended the conference.
I was stunned. It was obvious to me that I had received the same impression to share the scripture as Elder Nash had. However, I still have an impossible time telling when impressions come from the Spirit or not. It was an amazing experience for me. I have a lot to learn.
As the conference ended Elder Nash told me that he wished I had extended my mission to work a little longer in Ecuador. Yet before I could respond he said, "but I am even happier that you are going home to a good family. Thanks for your work Elder." And that is how it ended. It reassured me that everything was going to work out fine. This summer will be crazy and I still don`t have a clue what I will be doing when I get home... but now is still not the time to worry about it.
I wanted to give a special shout out to Mary Teichert. I don`t have words to describe what she means to me as a cousin and best friend. But I shivered as I read that she will be serving in the Italy, Rome Mission. The Lord has great things in store for her.
Welcome back to Utah... to those that have been living on the outside,
Love you all,

Elder Robinson (I)
"...the time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream..."
Jacob 7:26

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Monday, April 18, 2011


Family and Friends,

The end is slipping ever closer. Today I started the last Change of my Mission. In the entire 2 years of the mission there are 17. 1 is spent in the MTC (for language purposes) and the other 16 are spent in the Field. I started today #16. Each change has 6 weeks and each week has 7 days. I will be leaving the mission 2 days after the next change begins... (so if you do the math correctly you should know how many days left until I get home!) It is strange to think that all the Elders and Sisters I knew when I entered the Guayaquil Mission is now home. Even stranger is to think that I will be next.

This last week was an absolute blast! Elder Calderon and I tore our sector apart. We started to average 6 lessons a day and we started talking to anything that moved in the street: moldy dogs, garbage, and a few people now and again. We were informed by our leaders that President Nash (President of the South America Northeast Area) will be visiting the mission next week and that President Montalti had arranged for the MTC in Peru to send the new missionaries a few days early. 

In the mix of things I had an interchange with Elder Hebdon. Elder Hebdon is among one of my best friends here in the mission. I lived with him when I was serving in Milagro (KM 26) and we always had some of the most amazing conversations. I am now once again his District Leader and I fully enjoy the oportunities I get to visit and work with him. Tuesday after the district meeting we started the interchange. I had a lot of work to do out in "Jardines del Salado" so we made our way out there to eat lunch and to track. 

We were out by the swamp looking at the crabs and the iguana when we made our way into a side street and started going house to house yelling "Ha Ver!" (equivalent of knocking on doors). I saw a pitbull out of the corner of my eye and thought to myself: "I hate dogs, and I don´t want to disturb that one." Again I yelled, "Ha Ver!" and I patiently waited for some sign that there was someone living in the home. My patience paid off: I saw life! It was running towards me... At full speed! As the pitbull approached I thought I was going to die. I took a step back and the pitbull jumped for us... and then the strangest thing happened: after the lunge the pitbull put itself to the ground and started whimpering. I didn´t know if I should´ve ran or laughed. My heart was beating fast enough for me to run a 5k. Elder Hebdon turned to me and said, "The 2 things I always pray for every morning are: 1. Not to be robbed and 2. Not to be attacked by a dog." As we walked away we started talking about how strange of an encounter it was we had with the pitbull. We came to the conclusion that it was divine protection that saved us (or the dog). Maybe I understand a little bit more how David played with the Lions in the Lion´s Den.

Thursday night we were called for the Changes. Elder Calderon was changed to Cuenca! He is now serving in Totoracocha (the ward next to my old sector Tomebama). We arrived at the Bus Terminal at 8 Friday morning and I was informed that I would be training for my last change! I was stoked. I still am stoked! 

Elder Calla is my new companion. He is from Peru and has been a member all of his life. He is excited to be here on the mission and is far more prepared for his mission than I was when I arrived to Ecuador. I am excited to train for it will force me to work hard for the last 6 weeks of the mission. He is excited to work and to learn and I am excited to work and finish hard.

The weather here has finally turned wet. Torrential rains have been hitting us every other day. I like the rain for it makes the days less hot. Yet the humidity it causes... need I say more. We trudged home last night through the flooded streets. That was really hard on my shoes. I hope the leather holds out.

I had a really amazing spiritual thought that I wanted to share with you all: and I forgot what it was. It came from the Book of Jacob and had something to do with the Gospel. Maybe you can all reread the Book of Jacob and understand what I am trying to say.

To all of you who feel that maybe I haven´t written in a few weeks or are waiting for letters to arrive: I thought I was sending letters. I hope they are making there way safely to the States. And for those of you that want more information out of me: I promise to load my last few emails "chucky jam full" of whatever I can.

The Lord loves and blesses his Missionaries. Especially the Ward Missionaries.


Elder Robinson

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Monday, April 4, 2011


Family and Friends,

That was probably one of the most powerful conferences that I have ever seen in my life! I was for sure spiritually filled Saturday and Sunday and am now full of new ideas, notes, and goals. I hope you all got something out of the conference. These are surely the last days... and the talks and messages proved it.

The last week was great. We worked hard to prepare a few people for baptism... only to have them move to the North Mission. That was fun. The only thing that matters is that they are baptised this Saturday. Lucky North Missionaries that get to be present. I hope they send me a picture.

When I was on my way to Cyber today there were 100 things that I wanted to write home to say... now that I am here... I can`t think of anything to say. I could restate: I am impressed that these are the last days. Elder Holland`s talk was powerful and the Priesthood session was one-of-a-kind. With all the new pressure we are receiving as missionaries, and how the talks and the words of the prophet panned out... only served to increase the urgency (I hope you noticed that word twice in the opening prayer for the Saturday Afternoon Session) to get people baptised, on to other covenants, and into the temple now. There really isn`t as much time left as some may think. Yet there is not so little that the work can`t be accomplished either.

I am so glad that I am part of this great work. Sometimes I ask myself if I am actually helping out in the grand scheme of things... and I hope I am. Maybe my contribution is small but maybe it will make all the difference in the lives of the people I am serving. That is how it will have to be for everyone. God does not show his love with huge all-powerful miracles. He shows his love in the little things each day. The things we take for common: our families, friends, time, school, jobs... the peace we currently enjoy. So it should be with us. Constantly helping the Lord`s work, our personal lives, and our families progress.

The Photo:

In the photo is Elder Gomez, Elder Robinson, and Ex-Elder Taza. We all lived together a year ago in Guayaquil. Elder Taza was my companion. We were all together again for General Conference. It was a great experience.

Thanks for being a constant help to me!

These are the last of times... these are the best of times.


Elder Robinson

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