Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Falling in love with Grand Forks!

OOOOOOH man, it's been another crazy week in the land of Grand Forks! We've adventured all around and seen gorgeous miracles, I hung ten in the gorgeous Bemidji for a considerable amount of time, we found oodles of new investigators, and life was overall pretty wonderful. Bless the Lord, I am satisfied! I feel like, slowly but surely, I'm finding my place in Grand Forks and finding my people here...missions are funny like that, I'm learning. Right when you feel perfectly content somewhere, with lovely people surrounding you who you simply adore, Heavenly Father gives you a new experience with new besties to adore. I think this week, leaving Fargo finally hit me (a little too late, lol) and I felt so homesick for my dear family down there, because I actually live in Grand Forks these days...but, I trust the Lord. I know He needs me here right now, and I'm already figuring out some of the reasons why. It's just tough stuff, my friends! I'm definitely uncomfortable, definitely trying to not be achy for my beloved Fargo...but life remains beautiful. Being a missionary is the greatest!! 
Cute pictures to prove it. :)

Welp, let me tell you about our week!! We kicked it off with a crazy day long service project in the beautiful Bemidji, Minnesota...about two hours east of Grand Forks. The whole zone gathered, per President's orders, and we cleared trees from the yards of adorable members- it was a lovely day. And, we got to hang with our adorable Grand Forks zone homies!! We hauled lumber (and I thought of my beloved Sis. Clark all the while, haha. Not disrespected this time around!) and laughed all day- the best! We finished up our Bemidji adventuring by having a barbecue at the beach and AH, it was so lovely. People take such good care of us!! Missionaries are so blessed! 

We got back from Bemidji at nine, so our besties in Devil's Lake got to stay for a two day sleepover- oh man, it was the greatest. I love them so much! Getting together with Sis. Shutt, my beloved MTC comp, remains one of the sweetest joys of my whole mission. We just talk about nonsense forever and it's the best. We laughed all day while chilling together and then laughed all through the night...or until the obedient time of 10:30, haha. I just love her so much!! AND, because they had to stay the night on Monday, they hung ten in Grand Forks for pday on Tuesday- it was the greatest!! We did the normal p-day errands and then went shopping- AHHH, so lovely. I ended up caving and buying the first article of clothing (other than winter clothes, lol) on my mission, a too cute floral skirt...and I also bought some earrings, haha. I'm so weak! BUT, we did go to Old Navy to cap it all off and I didn't buy anything. I was pretty proud of myself, haha. OId Navy is my weakness, usually...I'm a changed woman! The Atonement is real! 

We finished up our Tuesday with dinner at the beloved Kauffman's, who are just the greatest, and oodles of meetings- one with the zone leaders to plan for Zone Conference and one with our ward...nothing too exciting to report on either front, haha. It was a good p-day, though! Floral skirts are the dreeeeeam!! 

On Wednesday, we studied away and ran off to teach Emily, a super sweet former investigator that we're going to start teaching again- it was such a good lesson! We taught her the Plan of Salvation and the Spirit was just so strong as we testified- it was the best. I love teaching! I love being a missionary! 

We ate some lunch and then sprinted off to Erkine, halfway between us and Bemidji...and then, I raced off to Bemidji with the lovely Sis. Andrus and hung ten with her for a couple days. It was the best!!! I am absolutely obsesssssed, man oh man. She's the greatest and it was the loveliest of all lovely exchanges- GAHHH, being a missionary is seriously the greatest thing of all time. You meet the most lovely people, all because Heavenly Father knows you perfectly and knows exactly what you need. Sis. Andrus is one of those most lovely individuals that I was meant to meet in life, I do believe. She's right up there with Sis. Richins and Sis. Lien and Barb and the Wielands and the Roundys and all the other gorgeous people who have wandered into my life because I decided to serve. She's the best! 

I love Sis. Andrus!

I stayed in the gorgeous Bemidji until Friday morn, and Sis. Andrus and I taught oodles of cool people, taught Bible study, street contacted a super prepared Mexican man named Edgar who's headed to back to Mexico next week, weeded a garden in no man's land Minnesota, and generally had the greatest exchange known to man. I adore Sis. Andrus!!  Such a gorgeous exchange!!

Once back to Grand Forks, we went to district meeting and planned for Zone Conference and saw our dear BFF, Joe Gamboa- such a good day. Joe had a stroke a few years ago and is now confined to a nursing home- he's the sweetest man of all time! We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he gave us a referral for his non member brother who's moving into Grand Forks next week- it'll be a party!! 

We also chatted with the Lohs on Friday night and taught Lauralee, the Kauffman's adorable neighbor- such a sweet return to the land of Grand Forks! 

On Saturday, we planned a bit more for Zone Conference (ugh,) and had the coolest lesson ever with our dear bestie Dale- it was so sweet! Dale is the greatest!! Never underestimate the power of a blind recent convert, haha. We took him to meet Lamart, who the sisters met during exchanges...but Lamart wasn't home. His roommate Carey answered and let us know pretty quick that he wasn't interested...and then Dale, in all his blind glory, asked a couple of inspired questions and testified of the reality of the Atonement. AHHH, it was the coolest thing!!! We ended up teaching Carey about the Restoration as we chilled on his porch and we scheduled a return appointment for next week- God is so good!! We are truly being led to those who are prepared for the gospel!!

We tried a few other people after that glorious lesson with Carey and Dale, and we ended up weekly planning for a prolonged season- ugh, ugh, ugh. The worst! Somehow, we endured to the end and powered through...never my fave, man oh man.

BUUUUUT, after our season of planning, we headed off to dinner- with our downstairs neighbor, yahoooo!!! It was one the craziest things of all mission life- we always see this gem of a man, Randy, out on his patio we asked him the other day if he would teach us how to barbecue! He excitedly agreed, and we headed to his place on Saturday (with the Elders as backup, haha)...and it was so cool! We ended up teaching him the Restoration after small talking it through dinner, and he told us that he wants to come closer to Christ- AHHH, it was the best!!! Randy is the cooooolest!! We're totally besties now, and we're going to start teaching him...I am so jazzed. Life is so good!!

We also saw the Fraziers on Saturday,a super cute less active was a party. Grand Forks is just the best!!

And then it was Sunday. Such a good day!! We went to church and ate oodles of yummy food and went out teaching with Dale again- goodness all around! Dale is seriously one of my favorite people in all of Grand Forks- I am so grateful that the missionaries randomly tracted into him a year ago, man oh man. I totally needed to meet him!! We taught Henry with him, a former investigator who lives with Harry, our recent convert- and Henry told us midway through reading Ether 12 that he wants to be baptized, YAHOOOOOOO!!!! It was the coolest thing, man oh man! So, we're going to start teaching Henry again! Dale was so perfect, testifying like no one's business and generally being a boss. He made Sis. Tucker use his cane on the way to the Elder's car, haha- he cracks me up! So much love in my heart for that crazy cat, man oh man. Dale is the best!! 
Hanging ten with Dale!

We finished up our Sabbath by running over to the Orozco's to pick up some air mattresses- they are totally my faves!!!! AHHHH, my love for them is so complete. We chatted about the work and ate fancy cake and it was just gorgeous. The people in Grand Forks are just incredible- I am so blessed to be here! I truly am, even though I still miss my dear Fargo every now and again, falling in love with the gorgeous Grand Forks- I am exactly where I need to be. Life is gorgeous and the gospel is true!!

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


Sister Robinson

God is Good!

Oh man OH MAN, whatta week it's been!! We've laughed, we've cried, we've face palmed...and ultimately, we've been reminded of the goodness of God and of His infinite mercy. There's this Nashville Tribute song that has been my total jam this week that goes, "God is good, yeahhhh, God is good. We've come so much farther than we thought we could"...gah, so applicable to my current life! Nashville Tribute truly sings the songs of my soul, it would seem. I can honestly say, one year into this adventure as a missonary, that God is indeed good, and that I truly have come so much farther than I thought I could. Cheesy to admit, haha, but so incredibly true. I never imagined one year out, never thought I would honestly make it that far, had no idea where I would be or what I would be doing...and it's so much happier and sweeter and harder than I ever imagined it being. I am happy, God is good, and life in Grand Forks is beautiful. ONE YEARRRRRR, AHHHHH!! 

But anyway, haha, this week has been a crazy one. Beautiful and miraculous, of course, but so totally crazy. My life is just crazy, I think! For starters, we've got this Tuesday p-day going because the entirety of the gorgeous Grand Forks Zone headed to Bemidji, Minnesota yesterday for an day service project of hauling trees that fell after a huge storm last week. Crazy, crazy! It was a total party, and the Devil's Lake sisters (my beloved Sis. Shutt and Sis. Steiner,) are hanging ten with us today- it's been the greatest! God is so good, I'm tellin' ya! 

Fancy Bemidji!

Also, Sister Shutt reunion in fancy Bemidji! Yahooo!!

We kicked off this crazy week with last Monday, dontcha know, during which we pday'd away Grand Forks style...meaning we all played an intense game of frisbee golf and ran the usual Monday errands. It was a glorious time! We finished up our night by having a fancy dinner at Subway (hallelujah for birthday gift cards!!) and trying a few of which, Emily, let us schedule a return appointment for next week, yahooooo!!! It was a sweet night. 

And then it was Tuesday. We planned away in the morn for our MoTab broadcast, went to lunch with our dear Elders, Elder Payne and Elder Frisby, and planned some more on how to get the ward more jazzed about visiting teaching...such a party, haha! We taught Shawna amid our planning and adventuring, a super chill less active that is way too cool for us, and it was pretty sweet. Sis. Tucker warned me a bunch that she was going to be super rude and snotty, but she ended up being most pleasant...we taught Plan of Salvation and committed her to pray daily. She's a gem! 
Meetings with Elders!

We also visited oodles of members on Tuesday to chat of visit teaching, one of which, Sis. Orozco, gave us dilly bars in the heat of the hottest day eva- tender mercies of the Lord!  This week as a whole has been ridiculously hot and humid- I'm living in the tropics, practically! North Dakota is hot, people. Don't anyone tell you otherwise! 

We ate dinner with the Kauffman's on Tuesday night, so adorable, and finished up our day by trying more potentials, scheduling oodles of appointments, and getting drenched from random torrential down pour. Whatta weird Tuesday, haha! It was time to head in anyway, so it all worked out, and we planned away for the morrow in our matching footies. Sis. Tucker and I were made for each other, I'm realizing! 

I love this girl a lot. :)
On Wednesday, we partied so hard...and mostly tried our best to keep the weird Tuesday vibes outta our week, haha. We went to lunch with my beloved Sis. Bighetty- I LOVE HER SOOO MUCH, AHHHHH!!!! It was so lovely to see her and chat with her about the beautiful Fargo- I miss my hommmmmme!! Sis. Tucker is helping Grand Forks become beautiful, and to really feel like home...but man, it was rough stuff to see Sis. Bighetty again.  She promised that I would find someone to adopt me in Grand Forks, haha, because I'm so friendly and lovable- she's just the best. Plus, I got raspberry Sprite from the fancy coke machine, so it was all okay in the end. 

We visited our friend Joe in the nursing home, a super cute less active, to wish him a happy birthday, took a media hour, and tried the masses with our dear Sherah before ultimately trying out hand at some mall contacting. I'm not so good at it, haha, but Sis. Tucker is a pro and she's training me up to kill it. I'm slowly learning the art, lol! 

We ate with Bro. Ah Puck on Wednesday, my newfound fave- he's the beeeest!! He's from Hawaii but is going to UND for Aviation...because, randomly, UND has the best program in the US for Aviation, dontcha know. Everyone who goes to Grand Forks for school goes for that program, practically. It's bonkers!! It's a pretty cool place, I'm learning. Bro. Ah Puck cooked us delish Hawaiian pork and mac salad, and my heart practically exploded with joy. Such a lovely time! He's the coolest man around...ahhh, Grand Forks is good. God is good! 

And then it was Thursday. I got all my poop in a group (or just finally unpacked all the way, haha) and we weekly planned like pros- it was a good day. We spent the morning calling all the potentials in the area book and scheduling appointments with the masses, and we went out with Sherah in the afternoon to try all the people and tract for a spell- it was sweet! Sherah just makes everything better, I'm learning. She's the greatest woman I know!  We, while adventuring around and talking to everyone, met an minorly awful Baptist lady in a park...and she was chill-ly eating sushi and being too cool. I should've known that it was bad news, but we approached anyway and AHHHH, it was the worst.  Institute was a total tender mercy that night, haha.
Grouped up poop!

On Friday, I turned one year old- AHHHHH!!!! We had district meeting and ate oodles of food with our missionary besties (Wendy's for lunch, Texas Roadhouse for dinner, froyo for dessert...the makings of a perfect day, lol!) and randomly taught two other lessons while contacting at the mall and walking around town. It was so sweet!! One of them, Dre, is the coolest guy around, definitely destined to become an investigator. I'll keep ya posted!! 

And we totally ended our night at Cherry Berry with the beloved Bro. Ah Puck- he's the greeeeeatest!!!!  I just love food, it turns out. The besttttt!!! 

We had such a lovely Saturday, man oh man. Even though it was a bit rough, even though we're doing such much finding, this week really has been lovely. God is so good, my friends! 

We kicked off our Saturday by teaching our too cool recent convert Harry- and Dale came along for the ride, yahoo!! Dale is practically the coolest man around, my fave blind recent convert in all honesty, haha- as we taught away, I kept thinking of how much Dad would just die over the hilarity of Dale. It's my new dream for their paths to cross, haha! All my faves need to be besties, I've decided.  We taught Harry about the Sabbath day, solid lesson, and then he didn't show the next day.  Tragedy!

We ate lunch with Sherah after our lovely lesson, contacted a bit in the mall (ultimately deciding that too many people chill in the mall on Saturdays, haha) and walked around was a solid afternoon. No crazy miracles, just normal meeting of cool people and giving out Books of Mormon...UNTIL THAT NIGHT, MAN OHHHH MAN. It was such a perfect Saturday night! We took Sherah out to teach Chalis Williams, our new fave less active, about the Restoration, and than we tried the masses and ended up tracting an apartment building...AND FINDING THOMAS, THE OFFICIAL MVP OF THE WEEEEEEK!!! He's the best, man oh man, and we taught him the Restoration right there on his doorstep- my personal favorite thing ever as a missionary. We even prayed with him and scheduled a return appointment- ROGUE MEMBER PRESENT AND NEW INVESTIGATOR, AHHHHHHH!!!!! It was practically the coolest thing ever, not gonna lie. Such a beautiful Saturday!
I love Sherah so much. :)

On Sunday, we went to church (and Chalis totally came, AHHHHHH!!!), ate dinner on base with the too cute Heckerts, watched the MoTab broadcast, and tracked down Harry with Sherah. Goodness, Sherah is the best. Totally obsessed!!  It was a good day- we even found ourselves some solid potentials, yahoo!! Life is good in Grand Forks- a bit tough, sometimes crazy, but overall good. God is good and life is good because of that!  

I love you all so so much! Thank you for being so lovely, for making life so beautiful. Have the greatest week ever, my dear friends! I adore you!!


Sister Robinson

Pretty sunflowers :)

By the Grace of God

Oh man OH MAN, what a week it has been!! I'm officially in Grand Forks, sorta kinda settled and such...missions are just pure insanity!! It's so crazy that, just when you've got it all together and life is pretty content, Heavenly Father throws you off into the unknown wilderness of Grand Forks to fend for yourself. The good news is that Grand Forks is ADORABLEEEE.  Like, I had myself convinced that Fargo was the cutest place around...I don't know what I was thinking!! The only places that rival Grand Forks in general cuteness are Beulah, of course, and my beloved town of Horace...but it's a close third in the race of cute ND towns. Man, life is good even in Grand Forks! It's different and new and a bit scary, but God is good and life is still blissful. And Sis. Tucker is my new favorite person. I am so blessed! I'll give you the full scoop in due time, don't worry...but, the sum up here is that the gospel is true, even in Grand Forks. It's the greatest!! 

Alright, intro over. This week has been a crazy one, full of goodbyes and packing and teaching amazing lessons and generally rejoicing in the goodness and grace of God. Sis. Clark and I have been finding ourselves saying, "by the grace of God" pretty constantly because we spend inordinate amounts of time chilling with adorable African woman who say adorable African, by the grace of God, this week has been lovely and magical. I think I've written at least twenty times in my journal, "God is good!"- it's just the truth!! God is so good, so merciful, so lovely...and really, He is so aware of each of us. He knew I needed to be right where I am, even though I didn't really want to be right where I am- He takes way good care of me, even in my stubbornness. I do adore Him! 

But anyway, man oh man, let me tell you about the week! It's been a magical one! So much has happened, so much goodness to be shared...but, for starters, my new address is 2750 S. 40th St. #206, Grand Forks, ND 58201. I still can't believe it's actually happening, that I'm actually in my THIRD area and with my SIXTH is just crazy. It's moving too fast lately!  I can't believe it'll be a year this week of being a missionary!!! 

Oh man, getting sidetracked today! My head is just so full, it would seem! We kicked off the week with our normal Monday shenanigans, plus a stop to the gorgeous downtown Fargo for some strolling and shopping. I love Fargo so much!! 


We ate dinner on Monday with the beloved Cooks, some of my Fargo faves, and we giggled the whole time about life and missions and AH, they're jsut the best. We taught Kayla on Monday as well, just about the Gospel- she's the best!! I adore her so completely! She told me that I'm her spirit animal and I almost DIIIIIED- Kayla is forever my favorite person!! We did a couple goodbye stops to cap off the night, at Sis. Koon's and at the Zollinger's- Fargo has truly been so good to me. So many lovely people to thank and take pictures with!! 
Dinner and goodbyes with the Cooks

The lovely Zollingers!

Oh Tuesday, we taught Sis. Moore and ate lunch at was a lovely day. We ran by members throughout our adventuring as well, throwing cards to the masses and taking all the pictures. The highlight of our Tuesday was seeing Sis. Robideau- and getting a casual member home lessssssson, YAHOOOOOO!!!! Her aid Myrissa was there and we totally taught her the Restoration, with Sis. Robideau testifying like a total pro throughout- it was the coolest thing ever. Sis. Robideau is the greatest woman I know!!! I totally want to be like unto her when I grow up, man oh man. She's the best! 

We also taught Sis. Dresser on Tuesday- gah, I just adore her so much! We went out to dinner at Ruby Tuesday (best croutons of ALL TIME, AHHHHH!!!) and watched "Reclaimed" and chatted about repentance- it was so lovely. Sis. Dresser is also the greatest woman around! Pretty much everyone in Fargo is, haha!! 

Sister Dresser- I love this woman so much!

And then it was Wednesday. We partied hard on Wednesday, said goodbye to more beautiful Fargo friends, and taught some of our most gorgeous people. It was such a lovely day! We taught Sis. White and Sis. Richards about covenants, such a lovely lesson, and saw all our our Horace faves, and had a lovely dinner with the Lien clan- ahhh, life in Fargo is so good. Life in general is so good!! All my favorite people crammed into one perfect day- did I ever mention how much I love Fargo, haha? I LOVEEEE IT!! Sister White and Sister Richards and Sister Lien all fill my heart with such sweet joy and love- AHHH, I am such a blessed missionary to know them. My life has been forever changed my their beautiful influence! 
The sweet Robinsons!

Our dinner with the beloved Lien clan was one of the hardest farewells of the season- I have come to love them all so dang much!! It made my heart so weepy and distraught to say goodbye, but I know they'll be a part of my life forever...AND THAT ONE DAY I'LL SEE MY DEAR FRIEND BAPTIZED, AHHHHHH!!!  It's inevitable, I'm tellin' ya!! Before too long, I'll find my way back to the beloved land of Fargo and all will be well with the universe. It's going to be a beautiful day!! We chatted about it all throughout dinner, which consisted of pasghetti hot dish and strawberry shortcake for dessert- we are so spoiled!! Life is so good!! We also discussed our deep and abiding love for Napeleon Dynamite with our beloved Sis. Lien, and it was such perfection. She's the greatest woman I know!!! 
My dear Sister Lien

We finished up our night with dessert at the dear Bro. Claypool's, another total fave, and a quick lesson with Kayla- such a lovely Wednesday!! 

Brother Claypool

On Thursday, we picked up Sis. Tucker from the church in the wee morning hours and spent the day in a trio waiting for Sis. D'vas, my was crazy!! We visited Sis. Billings and had lunch with Sis. Bighetty, dropped a fritter off for our dear Sis. Dresser, taught Kayla (because Sis. Tucker taught her while serving in Moorhead and it was so glorious to reunite them!!), and finished packing...and then I was off to Grand Forks with the gorgeous Sis. Tucker!! AHHHHH!!  I did get to meet Sis. Luker's greenie, Sis. Spendlove- MY GRANDDAUGHTER!!!!!! -before hightailing it our of Fargo- such a tender mercy!!

One last Kayla lesson!
Sister Harrington! 
Saying goodbye to Sister Clark ):

Once in the adorable Grand Forks, we headed to institute- taught by my absolute faves, the Raleighs!!! Heavenly Father is just so good to me!!  We've spent these last couple of days meeting all the cool people in Grand Forks, inviting members to the upcoming MoTab performance for Pioneer Day, and generally loving life. Sis. Tucker is already a fave, hallelujah, and life is still blissful. I miss my people in Fargo, especially when Sunday rolled around...but Heavenly Father is blessing my so completely with lovely new experiences and people to learn from. I've met already some of the greatest people of all time, including a recent convert of two months named Sherah and another amazing convert named life is being changed all over again! I am exactly where I need to be!! Life is good, God is good, and by His grace, I'm happy in Grand Forks. I'm excited to see what this new adventure brings!!
Sister Tucker and I :)

One of the best things that has happened in this little blurb I've been in Grand Forks is meeting and teaching Elby- he's the best!! Sis. Tucker and Sis. Hansen met him just last week, and we called him up to schedule something up...gah, I'm already obsessed. Totally part of the reason I'm in Grans Forks at this time!! We answered some of his questions and taught him about the Restoration, and he told us that he's on a search to find the truth...basically, he's the coolest man I know.  I'm so jazzed to teach him again this next week- life is good here in Grand Forks! Teaching Elby is going to be a total party, I can already feel it!!
(one last picture. ya know.)

Oh man, what a week it's been! I love you all so much, and I am so grateful for all you do. You're the greatest people around!! 

Have the best week, my friends! I'll talk to you soon!


Sister Robinson