Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Fifteen Months Old!!

Oh MAAAAAAAN, this week has been another crazy one! Life is insanity these days!! For starters, Sis. Ramirez and I turned 15 mission months old this weekend and our main lady Linda is praying about a baptism date and AHHHHHHHH MAN, life is gorgeous!! God is good!! I'm a bit sleeper than I thought I could be, a little out of it after 15 months of running around with a tag on..but MAN, life has never been more happy. It's funny- I feel like I've never had it harder, I've never been so hopeless, I've never been more ready to call it quits...but I've also never been more aware of who I am, of what I want in life, of how true this beautiful gospel is. That age old scripture in Matthew is absolutely the truth- "He (or she) that findeth his life shall lost it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it". I feel like, over these past few months I've come to realize just how real that is- I'm here as a testament that true purpose is found as we give it all up, as we offer our whole souls as a sacrifice to Christ...that's when the magic happens. I still don't have it all figured out, I'm still figuring out all the bits of myself...but I know who I am so much more completely- and I trust myself because I trust the name on my tag. It's been quite the journey, and it's not quite over yet...but my life has been changed forever more because of these fifteen months. Huzzah for North Dakota! And for missions!! 

Ah man, I'm getting all off track...let me tell you about our week!! It's been magical and beautiful and I am so content. My heart is once more full unto bursting- one of these days it may actually burst, haha! 

But anyway, let's do this thing. We kicked this week off by pday-ing away- such a party!! We did the usual things, nothing too crazy (other than the time our go to car wash didn't work and we had to awkwardly back out of a forever long car wash entrance, haha)...but THEN, Audrey had this gorgeous idea of making Halloween treats during our pday times- the best!! We made fancy rice krispies while watching "Tarzan" and then spent our evening running around Grand Forks and throwing treats at our favorite people...man oh man, it was such a happy time. We even found a cheesy gospel-y quote and preached the word as we went about our shenanigans- such a good Monday. The best! 
party! :)

On Tuesday, we partied way hard and it was such a good day. We planned away in the morn times and ate lunch with our dear friend Rodeen- the best!! She made us fancy fish and potatoes and bought a big ol' thing of grape juice because she knows it's my fave- she's just the greatest woman I know!! We chatted with her about the temple over our delish meal and it was such a lovely time- I adore Rodeen. She's headed to Fargo this week and it continually breaks my heart...but I realized whilst eating lunch that she's going to be a part of my life forever. It's inevitable! 

We headed over to Dale's after that, where we taught Cheska- it was the best!! I was a bit nervous, but it was a magical time- Dale used his blind super powers to discern her needs and helped us figure out her concerns...man oh man, Dale is a total magician. It's outta control. Such a beautiful lesson. She admitted that she knows the Book of Mormon is the word of God but that she doesn't understand the relevance of Joseph Smith- we can work with that! We taught her again on Wednesday and she told us that she wants to be baptized...NEXT YEAR.  It broke my spirits a bit, but I think it'll all work out...ugh. Cheska. 

But anyway, after that gorgeous lesson with Cheska, we headed over and helped Sherah clean for a minute- love her! We ate some dinner after that, and contacted for a minute at the mall...and we met this lovely lady named Bridget, yahoooooo!! We taught her about the Book of Mormon and prayed with her and it was such a cool experience. I have such high hopes for that Bridget- such a good woman!!

We finished our Tuesday up by teaching AJ- SO GOOOOOD!! We watched the baptism of Christ and taught baptism and confirmation...AND SET A DATE FOR NOVEMBER 26th, YAHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!  Goodness, I am so jazzzzzzzed!! He's just the best- so prepared, so much goodness surging through his soul...teaching him is such a delight. Huzzah for AJ!! 

And then, it was Wednesday- such a party! We taught Cheska first thing, and then ran over to see Linda- such a party! We thought for sure we would have a casual doorstep lesson, but she ended up letting us in and feeding us zucchini bars- she's the best!! She showed us the quilts she's been working on, her recent cross stitch project, her new dresses...basically, she showed us her chickens. We talked about her Book of Mormon reading, which is going crazily well, and chatted a bit about baptism- it was a gorgeous time. I adore Linda!!

We ran around town after that, seeing Sis. Buttars and trying the masses- such an adventure!  We met a super cool lady named Jillian while tracting, and we taught her the Restoration- mega potential, my friends!! It was so sweet!! 

We ate dinner on Wednesday at Five Guys with our beloved Kauffmans- the best! We finished up by teaching our main man Henry, all about gospel- I love that man so much. He's the greatest!!

And then, we raced off to Devils Lake and exchanged away- such a party!! I hung ten in Devils Lake with my #1, Sis. Shutt- AHHHHH, I adore that woman!! We had such a lovely exchange, full of teaching lovely lessons and chatting about our missions- it was the best. Reunited and it felt so good! 


We exchanged back on Friday morn, right before district meeting...man oh man, it was such a good time. We went to our respective district meetings and then went back to work in Grand Forks- such a good day! We had lunch with our dear friend Martha at Pizza Ranch- ahhhh, I have missed her!  Her life has been crazy lately, so we haven't chatted with her in quite some time...but it was such a lovely lunch. We chatted about the Atonement over pizza and it was such a perfect time- I adore that Martha Stewart (hehe!)!! She has such a gorgeous faith, such a desire to become Christlike- I love her a ton. Such a good woman!!

so good to be back! :)

After lunch, we weekly planned for a season...and THEN, we ran off to teach our dear Linda, huzzah!!! She read Alma 32 and took notes and we chatted about the Holy Ghost...and she told us that she feels the Spirit so much more since meeting with us. We talked about baptism, she was seeming all kinds of hesitant...so we busted out the baptismal interview and she told us that she knows it's all true- AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! We asked what's holding her back, and she admitted that she's nervous about being volunteered to be a missionary- so we talked about callings and how it all works...and, suddenly, she realized that she's ready to be baptized. That she needs it in her life. It was straight up incredible. She committed to pray about a date, and we committed to do the same- AHHHH, Linda is amazing!! The investigator of my dreams!! 
I love this woman so so much!!

For the rest of our Friday, we were just on cloud nine. Really, for the rest of the weekend! We ate dinner with the Buttars and went tracting and nothing felt impossible- it was just the best. Linda is the best!! 

On Saturday, we taught Rollie in the morn and checked the mail during lunch- to find a Halloween package for Sis. Ramirez and a Barb card for me, YAHOOOOOOOO!!!! Best day ever. It's funny how good mail makes everything good, and how you realize how that everything is alright because the mail is perfect. #sendmoremail #sos #shamelessplug 

But anyway, we also taught Aloysius and Henry and AJ on Saturday and dropped Travis and went to dinner with the Orozcos- it was a beautiful day. 

(and helped Henry cut some chicken feet. nbd.)
On Sunday, all our peeps came to church and life was gorgeous- Linda stayed for second hour and LOVED it, huzzzzzah!!!  Such a good Sunday. We taught Henry and Joe on Sunday as well, and generally rejoiced in the craziness and glory and perfection of the week- it's been a long and crazy and lovely week. God is good! Life is beautiful!
and crazy Sabbath day African food! :)

Thank you for all you do- I love you all so much!! Have the greatest week!! 

Sister Robinson

Finding Strength through Christ

This week has been crazy town, man oh man. Life is good and God is good...but MAN, times are a changin'! I'm officially hanging ten with a new companion, taking over areas and such- stressFUL, man oh man! Luckily, Sister Ramirez is the coolest cat around and Grand Forks isn't falling to ruin under my sub par leadership...yet, haha.  I'm pleased to report that, although life isn't quite as beautiful and content as it was but a week ago, we're still teaching the masses and experiencing miracles. It truly has been a week of miracles! I was journaling away last night, like I do, and I realized in full how amazing this week has been- somehow, with a random trip to Bismarck, a new companion, oodles of dropped investigators and lessons, we managed to crank out twenty beautiful lessons. We can do all things through Christ, I'm learning all over again...even take over the greatest area in the mission and embrace the ensuing winter. God is good! The Atonement is real!!  It's funny how getting a new comp reminds you all over again of your own weakness, and allows you to rely once more on the goodness and grace of Christ. 

And also, on an unrelated note...it's practically winter here these days, AHHHHH!!  No snow to report yet, but frost all around and SO MUCH wind. This winter is going to be such a party, haha! I'm trying my best to prepare mentally, to wear skirts that don't flash the masses- I'm learning from my mistakes, lol. I'll keep you updated as the winter descends- it's coming, they say!

But anyway, haha, this week has been so crazy and so good. We kicked it all off with the usual p-day shenanigans, complete with watching "The Saratov Approach" with our beloved Orozcos and finding out officially about transfer times- so crazy!! The craziest bit of it all is that Sis. Ramirez is actually the Orozcos' niece...haha. It's made from some awkward interactions and weirdness, but overall pretty crazy. I think that's just the word of this week- CRAZZZZY!! 

On Monday night, we taught AJ at Henry's and broke the transfer news to all our besties- ahhh, it was such a tender moment. Sister Tucker was immediately embraced by this apartment full unto bursting with African men, and we took a big ol' group picture to commemorate it all- such a lovely time. Love them!  We also taught Cheska on Monday, and we chatted about the Holy Ghost and receiving personal revelation- it was SO good! Cheska is the best!! Her heart was softened so much through Conference, and I think she's closer than ever to receiving an answer...AHHH, the best people in the world live in Grand Forks!! 
our sweet Africans!

On Tuesday, we taught AJ again in the morn about baptism- and he committed to pray about a date, yahooooo!!! He's so solid, man oh man. Love that guy! We spent a good chunk of our day prepping up for Sister Tucker's departure by saying goodbye to the masses and packing away...crazy times! We taught Rodeen in the afternoon times as well, all about baptism and life- AHHH, I love that lady! We taught her again on Friday, and decided as a team to work towards Oct. 29 as her baptism date- I am so jazzzzzzed!! She admitted that, after seeing Henry's baptism, she went out and bought white undies- she's the greatest!! We even went over the interview questions with her and she just about died over the Law of Chastity question...man oh man, Rodeen is just my fave. Love her!! 

We ate dinner with the beloved Orozcos on Tuesday night, one last supper together at B-dubs-- it was the best. I love them so much! They gave Sis. Tucker and I matching bangles and packed lunches for our road trip to Bismarck- AHHHH, greatest people I know! 
I adore the Orozcos!! :)

So, on Wednesday, with packed lunches in hand and oodles of luggage, we headed to Bismarck for the training meeting- such a party! We got permission to stop in Fargo on the way there and see my fave, Sister Lien- it was the greatest!! I love her so much! I thought for sure she was flip out when she saw me, but she knew all along I was coming- she is too close to the Spirit, haha! She's the greatest!! 


I hung ten with Sis. Ramirez, Sis. Baadsgaard, and Sis. Steiner once in Bismarck, and Sis. Steiner lugged us around to all the people she taught while serving in Bismarck...it was the best! We met an adorable recent convert couple who shared with us the story of their conversion and how real the adversary is- and they gave us each a pair of handmade earrings, yahooooooo!! I was a pretty happy camper, haha. The best! 

We got to crash the tailend of the training meeting, all us rogue comps, and see who was training who- it was such a fun time. I was getting slapped in the face left and right over how old I actually am- AHHHHH!! It's gross, really. We spent the night in the mission home and headed off after studies and meetings back to home base- such a crazy adventure! 
I adore Sister Tucker- Imma miss her!! 

Sister Ramirez and I chatted the whole way back to Grand Forks (the promised land) and took a requisite picture stop at the world's largest buffalo- such a lovely time! Sister Ramirez is quickly becoming a fave- she's just the coolest! She's chill and hilarious and is exactly the companion I need- I feel really lucky to be with her. She's the bomb! 

(no caption even needed :))

Once back to Grand Forks, we first thing taught Linda- the besttttt!! We read Enos with her, taught pray often and study the scriptures, and committed her to come to church on Sunday- and she totally came, YAHOOOOOOO!!!! AHHHH, Linda is the BEST! She is just so prepared for the gospel, so ready to change her life...we even chatted for a minute about baptism, and she told us that she's been praying about it a lot and feels like God is leading her to this church. She told us that she knows God put us in her life, and I told her about how I knew we needed to talk with her that day we met her...man oh man, I am just so grateful for the Spirit and so grateful that Heavenly Father trusts us enough to teach amazing people like Linda. She even brought us homemade zucchini bread when she came to church- she's the greatest!! 

On Friday, we had district meeting in the morn and taught Henry right after- love him!! We were supposed to teach AJ but Henry was home instead...so, we read the Book of Mormon with him and scheduled a return appointment for later that night, haha.  Henry is my favorite! That man is so completely converted and I love him so much- he makes me so happy! He told us as we chatted that the cold isn't strong yet...ahhh, he's the cutest!! Love him!

We taught Rodeen after that and then proceeded to weekly plan before dinner- which we ate with Dale and Kara, yahooooo!! Such a party! I love them so much!! Dale made shephard's pie and Kara made peanut butter brownies and it was just the loveliest time. Dale is the best!! 

We taught Joe in the evening times, and Audrey came along- love that man! We watched some Conference with him and were disappointed as a team in Rollie's failure to show...but we rescheduled for Saturday and he totes came, hallelujah. 

We finished up our Friday by teaching Henry about the temple and setting Nov. 5 as his temple date- so exciting!! He's the best!! Safee was all chilling on the couch during the whole lesson, so we summoned him to the temple afterwards and set some expectations...and he set Dec. 10 as his baptism date, YAHOOOOOOO!!!!  It was so sweet!! Ahhh, I love those Africans. The best!! 

And then, it was Saturday. We kicked off the day with an early morning service project out on base and then studied away afterwards- crazy time!! After studies and lunch, we headed to the church for a baptism and ward coorelation...and then we taught Travis with Audrey, yahoooooooooooo!!!  Ahh, I love that Travis. He's just as much of a hoodlum as ever, but I can't help but adore him. He wants to change so bad! We retaught him the Restoration and committed him to pray and read and come to church...and he said he would. He bailed last minute on church, but I still have great faith in that troubled youth...I'll keep ya updated, don't worry. 

We taught Safee the Restoration after that, the dream, and Ebenezer just happened to be there- tender merices!! Safee was so focused, more than I've ever seen him, and he committed to come to church...and he totally did!! Yahoooooooo!!!! I love that man, goodness gracious. He's the best! 

And then, we taught Rollie. Love him!! He brought pizza and we chatted about the Plan of Salvation- the best. He asked oodles of good questions and testified left and right...man oh man, he's so prepared. Love that Rollie!! 

On Sunday, we saw Almaz in the morn...ahhh, she's the best! She softly dropped us, and let us know that she won't be reading our Book anymore- tragic but expected. We scheduled an appointment with Teddy for Saturday, and I'm nervous that our dear and beloved Ethiopian friends are headed outta our lives- but I remain hopeful. It'll all work out! 

We finished up weekly planning before church and taught Gabriel- AHHHH, love him!! He's the best, man oh man. And THEN, it was time for church- and the masses came!! It was glorious!! We sat by Rodeen and Linda (who immediately became besties and sang the hymns together- pretty much the most tender moment of all my days!!), Henry and his friend Aloysai sat behind us, Harry sat by Gabriel...AND, right as the meeting was about to start, Ebenezer, Safee, and Safee's sister strutted in- THE BESSSSST!!!! My heart was full unto bursting, and THENNNNN, Henry got ordained and I practically melted. Best Sunday EVERRRRR!!!! We ate dinner with our beloved Orozcos and taught AJ and saw Pat and AHHHH, it was just the perfect day. Sundays as a missionary are the best!! 

Welp, that was my week! It's been crazy and magical and generally miraculous- God is good and the Atonement is real! I am so grateful for each of you, for all you do...thank you for being the greatest. I adore you!! 

Have the greatest week ever, my friends!

Sister Robinson 

Fear No Man!

Hey-oh, team! This week has been another crazy one...man oh man, miracles all around! I think it should be officially stated that Grand Forks is simply the best- I feel like the luckiest missionary in all the land! I am in constant awe of the pure goodness of Heavenly Father, of His infinite love for each of us...He truly does hear and answer our prayers. I've been trying lately and praying lately to be fearless, to be bold, to be braver than I am- and I've felt such power flow into my life as I've done so. There's this crazy letter, written by a missionary eons ago about his crazy trainer, and it has be all inspired to be a better person and a better missionary...but anyway, in that letter, Elder Riccardi (the crazy trainer) says to himself in the mirror every morning before going to work, "Fear no man!"- kinda cheesy, haha. BUT, I've been finding myself saying that more and more lately, trying to gain the strength I desire and the courage I need- and, slowly but surely, I'm becoming fearless. It's the best! My heart, as it talks about in 2 Nephi 17, is being moved, and letting faith take control...and, because of all that, miracles are pouring into this little section of the vineyard. Fear no man, my friends! It makes all the difference in the world!! 

So, it's been a beautiful week. We've taught and testified and dispelled fear left and right...and I am truly happy. My heart is full, even unto bursting! 

We started this most beautiful week off with the normal p-day shenanigans, such a party, and hung ten with the Orozcos to finish it all up- the best!! We watched "The Best Two Years" and ate Jimmy John's and found the strength within ourselves to have a gorgeous Monday...and then we proceeded to have the craziest Monday evening of all time!! Huzzah for Israel!! 

We first saw Rodeen once our pday came to an end- love her!! She made us chili and we talked about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity...she kept telling us that she's too old for that stuff and I kept laughing obscenely every time she said it, haha- it was just the best. Rodeen is the best!! We chatted a bit about baptism, and she let us know that she officially got her apartment in Fargo and is moving on the 26th...so I think her baptism will end up happening in Fargo. The good news is that Fargo is just a second away (kinda, lol) and that she's so prepared- just needs to read her scriptures a bit more and stay for three hours of church. So close!! 

We saw Linda next thing- the best!! We went over obedience and the Ten Commandments and left her with 2 Nephi 31 to read...I just adore Linda. She is so prepared!! We're still working hard to figure out who her fellowshipper should be, but she is so dang solid. I am consistently in awe of the fact that we're teaching Linda, that she remains so interested through all our tomfoolery- she's just the greatest. Totally obsessed!!

And THEN, we taught good ol' AJ about personal revelation and it was so beautiful. He told us that he's been praying to know if he should be baptized but hasn't really been reading or going to church...and it was cool to watch the pieces connect for him, for him to realize that it takes a bit more to receive answers. Love that AJ! His friend Aloysius also sat in, and became a new investigator- yahooooo!! 

We finished up our Monday by teaching Cheska, the love of our life...man oh man, such a crazy Monday! We brought Jerris along with us and went over the Plan of Salvation and how Joseph Smith received the revelation he did- so good! Cheska totally believes that the Plan of Salvation is true, but she's not sold on Joseph Smith yet...so we're working on it. She's the best- it's been amazing to see her change and really want to know. Love her! 
(also, her and Audrey had a dance party post lesson and I almost exploded over their cuteness.)

On Tuesday, we hightailed it to Bismarck and MLC'd away- such a party. We had oodles of ice cream and I hung ten with all my favorite people and it was a glorious time for all. My favorite bit was the temple, of course...ahhh, nothing beats it! The peace felt there is incomparable, and I am so grateful to go- it's truly the best place on earth, dontcha know. Slowly, MLC is becoming part of my life and not some crazy thing I fear endlessly- back to the whole fear no man thing, I suppose! I'm realizing too, five transfers into all this leadership business, that I am actually good enough, that I have something to offer, that I am capable of being an STL...better late than never, haha! So, the conclusion here is that MLC this time around was so pleasant, so delightful, and so stress-free...it was just the best. I think I'm figuring it out, huzzah!! 

Once back to homebase on Wednesday, we rushed off to the Africans to teach Safee...but he wasn't home. BUTTT, AJ was and he let us teach him- the best! We read through 3 Nephi 11 and talked about baptism- such a good lesson. He's still not ready to be baptized, but we talked a lot about it and answered his questions- it was a good time. Love him! 

On Thursday, we planned oodles for ZTM and had a few gorgeous lessons- the best!! We taught Rodeen after a morning spent planning with the Zone Leaders, and Bro. Smith came along- it ws pure perfection! Bro. Smith was pure perfection!! We ate cupcakes and taught about receiving answers by church, prayer, and scriptures...and Rodeen adorably testified of the truthfulness of the church, and told us that she always feels the Spirit when she goes- AHHHHH!!!  It was such a lovely and tender moment. I adore that lady!! She admitted that she could be better at reading, and Bro. Smith came up with the genius idea of giving her a weekly ponderize...and it was changed her life for good. The best!! She's a ponderizer now, and it's the greatest thing that has ever happened to her. And to us, by association. Haha. 

After Rodeen's gorgeous lesson, we tracted and planned a bit more and ate some Qdoba for dinner- my soul was achy for a burrito after all that planning, haha. The best!

We finished up our night by teaching Ebenezer about the Restoration (just another African, haha) and reveiwing the Holy Ghost and receiving answers with Cheska- such a good time. She adorably told us that she feels the Spirit the most when Jerris testifies- I love her so much. Cheska is the best!! 

And then, it was Friday. We spent our morn finalizing ZTM and then rushed off to the church- and it was a party!! The Assistants made a cameo and I was a bit sweaty over it all...but it went well, haha. The Spirit saved my butt! 

We raced off after ZTM to teach our dear Linda- the best!! Sis. Hutchison came along, and we went over 2 Nephi 31- Linda took notes as she read, yahooooo!!! We discussed baptism and the Word of Wisdom and it was just beautiful. She told us that she doesn't feel quite ready, that she wants to wait at least a year before being baptized...! I think my disappointment was tangible...but I have the feeling that everything will work out. I'm convinced! 

We also saw Joe on Friday, my fave, and ate dinner with the Orozcos...at BWW, huzzzzzzah!!!  I think that place will forever remind me of my favorite fam, man oh man. The best!! I just love them so much, and I am so grateful for them- I feel so lucky to know them. Best people in the whole world!! 

We taught Safee after dinner, just went over the Book of Mormon and read the Introduction together- I love that man so much. He's the best!! He taught us the whole Restoration and it was just the greatest- Safee is the best!! We also totally matched, haha, so we took some pictures and it was a lovely time. Henry and Aloysius got home in the middle of our lesson, and seeing Henry is always my fave- love him!! 

AND, Safee and I were totally matching- such a dream! :)

On Saturday, we tracted oodles and tried the masses and taught Cheska about the Book of Mormon and ate Cold Stone with her and Parker and it was just craziness all around. Such a good day! The best part, though, was our late night African adventure- the best!! We headed over there to teach Aloysius and AJ and Ebenezer and instead found Henry and his new friend Augustina cooking away...so we helped them cook for a minute (and got laughed at as we cried over the onions, haha) until the team showed up. Eventually, they did...so we taught Augustina, AJ, Aloysius, and Ebenzer about the Restoration, with Henry filling in the gaps for us and testifying like a pro through it all- it was the coolest!!  Augustina insisted that we stay for dinner afterwards, so we ended up eating crazy Liberian food from a huge community bowl...and it was straight up delicious! Best African food I've ever had!! AJ wouldn't let us eat the chicken feet, such a tender mercy, and it was just such a party...I had no idea a mixture of cassava leaves, peanut butter, a fancy grinded up combo of peppers, onions, and garlic, and oodles of mystery meat could prove so delish...but man oh MAN, it was so good!! I ate lots, and it was such a party. Being a missionary is crazy town!! 

Crazy African food! :0
On Sunday, we went to Stake Conference in the morn- and Linda came along, huzzzzzah!! Such a party. We sat next to each other and she whispered her profound thoughts by way and it was just the greatest- I love that lady SO much!!!  She's my absolute fave. The best!! 

We also taught Pat (who's moving this week, such a tragedy) and Joe on Sunday, ate dinner with our beloved Orozcos (the beeeeest!!!), chatted with Rodeen for a minute, ate the leftovers of the crazy African food with Henry (during which he told me I should be a business manager when I grow up and that I look beautiful with my glasses and not so much without, hahaha- Henry is my fave!!), and generally rejoiced in the goodness of God- such a perfect Sabbath!! 

Welp, that was my week! Crazy, beautiful, full of lovely Liberian friends and delicious food...it's been a good one! My heart is full! 

I love you all so much- thank you for all you do!! Have the greatest weeks!! 

Sister Robinson

My dead shoes :(

a perfect sign! :)