Friday, March 18, 2016

The Reality of Zone Leadership and the Atonement

Oh man, so much to email about this weeeeeek. I've been putting it off my organizing my inbox- everything has a neat little section now and life is much better- the things Sister Robinson does on her p-day, haha!! Gotta use your time effectively!

Welp, this week has been a crazy one. If the subject is any indication, I'm slowly coming to terms with the harsh reality of being a part of Zone still doesn't totally feel like real life, even though I went to my first Mission Leadership Council (MLC) in Bismarck (AHHHH!!) and gave my first training at Zone Training Meeting (ZTM)...goodness gracious, it just doesn't feel like this is actually my life. How did this happen?? I mostly feel like I have no idea what I'm doing, and I'm endlessly grateful for my totally with it 17 month old comp that keeps me sane, lol. It's also kinda crazy to have a companion that's on their way out, because there's no denying the transfers to come- what a wild ride Fargo is turning out to be!  I just keep reminding myself that it's only been a week, that it's okay to not know the area yet or really not know what I'm doing yet...but it kind of feels like I'm a brand new missionary again, starting for square one. If I've learned anything this week, it's that the Atonement is real- me being a seven month STL is a testament to that! When we rely on Christ and allow Him to change us, we can do all things...even face the reality of Zone Leadership like a pro and love the craziness that is the Fargo life!

I think my optimism is also founded upon the fact that there is every food option imaginable in Fargo- we totes ate Chipotle last Monday and my heart was so full of joy. Goodness, food makes everything better! I've also rediscovered the joys of wrapping come lunch hour- I've went for the turkey and spinach wrap for the past couple days! Throwback to my MTC days, holla!

But anyway, it's been a really great week despite the general stress of being an STL. Sis. Broberg makes fun of me consistently because of my use of the word "stressful"...she says it's my new favorite word, haha. I don't think she's wrong, either. Life just feels pretty stressful these days! It's a good go-to!

Alright, on with the email! We kicked off the week with a gorgeous p-day, full of the regular shenanigans and some newfound Fargo traditions- it was a party! We shopped and cleaned and washed the car (which remains nameless- I'm pondering the options!) and emailed...and played Monopoly with the other missionaries! Such a hoooot! I learned that I'm totally not competitive enough to play Monopoly with the Fargo missionaries- they go so big! There was trading and auctioning and like, actual real life Monoploy playing... I was in over my head! I realized that I haven't ever really played Monopoly the right way, haha. I'm learning lots in Fargo!

We dined at Chipotle before heading out to try the masses- oh my goodness, it was so delish! I alllllmost got guacamole on my burrito but couldn't justify the extra $1.25- one day, one day! We tried Sis. Harris after dinner, an investigator that they found in January, and we randomly ran into her as she was coming into her apartment. It was perfect! We scheduled an appointment for next week and she seems super cool- crazy things are going to happen!

We've got selfie-ing at Chipotle (can you just see the total joy in my heart!?)    
We also tried Jacob, a potential from eons ago...and he totally let us in! Yahoooo!! He's from some random Lutheran brotherhood or something, so he mostly asked about grace and salvation...we definitely don't believe the same things, haha. But hey, he invited us back and we got a new investigator out of the ordeal- yahhhhhhoo!!

We ended our Monday night with my new fave, Sis. Dresser. Goodness, she's the best! She's a recently reactived member that we're preparing to go to the temple- she's amazing!! We chatted about the temple and read about the tabernacle in the Old Testament- she knows her Bible like no one I've ever met. Gah, I'm tooooootally obsessed!! She also lives in the coolest/biggest house I've evvvvver seen, and it's helping me overcome my missionary fear of rich people, haha. Turns out, everyone needs the gospel and needs more Sis. Robinson love in their life! Even people that live in fancy houses!  Goodness, I adore Sis. Dresser. She's the coolest! She's the only member in her fam, but her daughter is investigating...good things are coming, I can feel it!!

Tuesday was SUCH a crazy day, man oh man! We did the morning routine and jumped into our p-day clothes and headed out to MLC....AHHHHH!! We met up in Bismarck at two (after a most delightful ride with our dear Zone Leaders, Elder Jarman and Elder Adair) and
I WAS REUNITED WITH MY DEAR TRAINER, YAHOOOOOO!! It was sooooo so good to see my sweet and lovely Sis. Finlinson- she's such a grown up these days! It was the best! I didn't realize how much I missed her cute mug until I saw it again- goodness, I have missed her! And also, I'm totallllly obsessed with her comp, Sis. Clark. She's probably the coolest person I have ever met! We're also going to be BFFs, I can just feel it.

REEEEUNITED!!! (and it felt so good!!)    
After the reunion of a lifetime, we all went to a cray cray sports complex to chill as Mission was bonkers! Usually we go to the temple, but it's closed for cleaning this we played kickball and ultimate Frisbee instead! It was a total party! It was so hard for my head to see all these people I've adored and admired for the past seven months of my life just hanging in a random bubblely thing in Bismarck...I think my face looked much like this the whole time, haha! It was a lot of fun, and I spent most of the time hanging in out field and loving Sis. Finlinson. Goodness, I missed that wonderful lady!

We spent the evening at the mission home, watching "Freetown" and the Face-to-Face Devotional with Jeffrey R. Holland. It was blissful! The Hess' just got an ICE CREAM MACHINE for their house, so we all ate oodles of ice cream and chatted the whole while. Such a beautiful day!!

Wednesday was equally as crazy, because the actual MLC part of MLC was a thing. We got back to the mission home (after staying the night with my dear Sis. Shutt at the Hawley's) bright and early to eat breakfast (and more ice cream)- such a party! I made so many friends, of course, and I got to hang with my Bismarck STL, Sis Jenson- so much love in my heart for that beautiful woman! I'm also obsessed with her new companion, Sis. Seegmiller- we spend the whole adventure giggling about nail polish and loving each other...I found another penpal, haha! My list of eternal besties just keeps growing!

The whole MLC group! 

Our training was all about working with members and using the Atonement, and I kept thinking about how completely the Atonement has changed me. Sitting in the mission home, with all the other Zone Leaders and STLs and the Assistants and the Mission Prez himself, I was totally humbled- it is through Jesus Christ that I've become the kind of missionary that can be in Zone Leadership! That can embrace all the crazy changes in my life! That can love Fargo with so much of my heart already! I am just so grateful for Him, and for the new life He has given me (#hallelujah, haha- check out the new Easter video, my peeps!). I am just so blessed!

We rode back to Fargo in style, chatting all the while with my newfound faves- I just love Elder Jarman and Elder Adair! We stopped in Jamestown to get gas, and Elder Adair sneakily bought us each a pack of gummy bears- we're totally besties! I love that the explosion of love in my heart (because I remain a total Anna, dontcha know) knows no bounds- I love loving other missionaries! It's the best!

Once back to homebase, we dined at the Fletcher's (a super cute young fam that I'm totally in love with, of course) and headed over to see Sis. Dresser- whatta crazy night! Sis. Dresser texted us on our way back and told us that she needed out help with something...turns out, she was asked to teach a Lutheran Youth Group about Mormonism and wanted us to come as backup! It was the coolest! We ended up answering loads of questions about missionary work and teaching a full Restoration- it was amazing! The Spirit was so strong and we invited everyone to pray about our message- such an adventure! It was seriously one of the best experiences of my whole mission, and I feel so blessed to know Sis. Dresser. It was the greatest!! And, it was yet another total testament of the Atonement- I would've never thought even three months ago that I would waltz into a youth group and testify boldly about the Restoration- I'm a changed woman! Hallelujah!

Onto Thursday! We were busy bees on Thursday- we're still working through weekly planning, haha! We kicked off the day with studies and Ward Coordination (or correlation? I actually don't know which one is right, haha) at the Robert's- it was sweet! We tracted for a spell afterwards and sprinted off to Horace (a tiny town just south of Fargo that we cover- it's so Beulah that is makes me heart sing!) to eat lunch with Sis. Disher- such a party! We had BLTs and chatted about life, and I totally adore her. She's the greatest! She reminds me totally amounts of Anne Redford and it just made me so happy to meet her- destined to be besties, I'm sure of it!

a cute post crazy Thursday of running around selfie!

We planned ZTM for a season after that, which mostly stressed me out but was still super good- we decided to give our training on the Atonement and how to use it more applicable to my current life situation! The Elders narrowed down their topic too- working with members to hasten the work of salvation. And, spoiler alert, it was so great! Yahoooooo! We'll discuss more when we get to it, but it was super solid. Go us!

We ran over to the Clark's after all our planning and Sis. Larsen came along- it was so sweet! The Clarks are a super cool fam we're teaching- there's Marie (the mom), Leo (the oldest brother, 15), Alice (14? 13? I don't actually know, haha), and Marlee (8). They're the coolest! We reviewed the first three lessons with them  and it went really well- yahoooo! Marlee really wants to get baptized but the rest of the family is kind of ambivalent- all with due time! Good things are coming!

We ran over to the Andrades next with Bro. Claypool (a fave mentioned last week, remember? I love that man!)- they're a super sweet less active fam that I just adore. We taught Brianna and Naelly, the two oldest daughters, about keeping the Sabbath day holy- such a good lesson! So solid!

Our last stop of the day before weekly planning away was Sis. Johnson- and Bro. Hoehne came along! So many members, so little time! She's a less active we chatted a little about last week- she's super cool and super excited to go to the temple...but doesn't come to church. It's tricky. We're working away with her though- good things are coming!

AND THEN, it was time to ZTM, AHHHH!! I was nervous beyond all nervousness, but we coordinated adorably with the Zone Leaders and it actually went super well- somehow, I made it through an hour long training! Without puking or crying! Such a testament to the reality of the Atonement, my friends! It's the real deal, I'm telling you! It was so cool to give a training about that very topic, and to testify with my whole heart that I know it works- it's truly the only way I could be where I am and doing what I'm doing. Through faith in Jesus Christ and obedience, I can become something I could never be on my own- like a missionary! Or an STL! Or anything of consequence! He's the only way!

Sistas at ZTM (aren't we the cutest?)   
that one time we couldn't find Elder Jarman but took a picture anyway    
the time not even two minutes later when we found Elder Jarman (haha!)/the dream team!    
Oh man, we're quickly running outta time- we'll get through the rest, I promise! I guarantee it! The rest of Friday was beautiful- we lunched after ZTM and ran off to teach Bro. Daudier- it was amazing!!  Sis. Raleigh (an adorable senior missionary that I'm totalllllly obsessed with) joined us for the party and we read the Introduction to the Book of Mormon with him- it was so sweet! He's so cool! We're going to have a lesson with him in the Cook's house this Saturday- AND I AM SO EXCITED I MAY DIEEEE!!! It's going to be beautiful!

We ate dinner with the Dimeas clan, such a party (I love them , of course. That should be assumed from here on out, haha), and taught Sis. Tokpawheia afterwards- it was great! We chatted about the Book of Mormon and committed her to read'll be amazing!

We ended our night by dropping off a forgotten from transfers package for the Raleighs...and eating banana bread with my new favorite people- I've been missing out on the beauty of senior couples my whole mission! They are the greatest!

We taught a couple sweet lessons over the weekend, including Sis. Koon and Sis. Moore...and we totally ate with the Robinsons on Sunday night, yahooooo!! New faves, for sure!  Serving in an area with Robinsons is a dream I never realized that I had, haha! It's the greatest! It was also kind of bizarre, but mostly magical. I love Robinsons of every variety! Even those living in Horace, ND!
the Robinsons!!    

And so, in conclusion, it's been a beautiful week. I love Fargo, I love my new life, and I love the Atonement of Jesus Christ...and I also love all of you hooligans! Thank you for being so amazing and wonderful and just my besties all around- I love you all so much! Keep being awesome, and have the greatest of all the weeks! I adore you!


Sister Robinson

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