Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Reality of the Atonement

AH man, it has been a crazy week! Dropped investigators, general lack of progress, and more finding than ever...we are determined to fear no man and to find the elect in our section of the vineyard! It's been a wee bit rough, a wee bit discouraging...but life is still beautiful and God is still good. I'm feeling a little beaten and more humbled than ever- it's funny how missions do that to you. I'm learning all over again that you can always be better, and that the Atonement of Jesus Christ provides the way for us to overcome ourselves. During sacrament meeting yesterday, someone bore their testimony and said that we all think we will become better if you do more, but the only way we can truly become better is if you tag team it with Christ. And it's the truth!  When life gets hard, when all of your favorite investigators suddenly disappear and the white board is emptier than it's been in a long while, Christ gives you the strength to move forward and overcome all obstacles. I'm learning it all over again! And, ultimately, life is meant to be enjoyed and not endured...and I know that there is so much joy to be found, even in the darkest of hours. Even during a rather bleak mission week. 

But alas, let me tell you about our week!  We kicked it all off with a pretty normal pday, full of emailing and shopping and cleaning...and THEN, we raced off to base and ate dinner with the adorable Chavez clan! Yahoo!! They're pretty much the cutest family ever, with three boys and Spiderman talk through the whole of dinner. Such a happy time.  Nathaniel, their four year old son, became my bestie over the course of dinner and it was such a party- and he totally recognized me at church yesterday!!  Tender mercies, haha. 

 Anyway, we taught Joe and it was the best. I seriously adore that man. Such faith! He was a bit sleepy today, but we talked about prayer and it was a good time. He's a fave. 

We did some trying and finding next thing, and then ran off to dinner with the Kauffmans- the BESSSSST!!!! We laughed oodles and ate fried chicken and it was such a happy time for all involved. The best! My favorite part was when Sis. Kauffman let us know that orange is the new black and I seriously busted a gut laughing. Too funny! It's kind of weird to be so detached from the world, so unaware of what's going's nice, though. Apparently, orange is the new black!  I was pretty tempted to make that the subject of my email but I refrained...haha, it's never not going to be funny. I'm even laughing now! 

But anyway, we next thing taught Henry- such perfection!! Bro. Smith and Audrey came along, and we taught about studying the scriptures...and AJ sat in, too!! Such a dream.  At the end of our Henry lesson, AJ asked oodles of questions about the Book of Mormon and the temple and it was just the best. I love that AJ! He's still not sold on going to church but we're working on it- he is seriously the best. He and Henry give me the strength to get up in the morning, haha! 

On Thursday, we had a most beautiful day- happy birthday, Em!! We weekly planned away for most of the day and then ate dinner with our beloved Orozcos at Pizza Ranch- it was the besttttt!!!!  I think pizza may be my favorite food- it's just so good! We ate and chatted and prepped up for Ruby's lesson...such a lovely time. I adore the Orozcos with all the energy of my young soul! 

the best! :)

We hung ten with Audrey for a minute next thing and tried some peeps and taught Safee- it was a good time. We chatted with him about baptism and he promised to be a more reliable individual...and then he missed his appointment the next day.  I was vexed once more and THEN, he totally dropped us yesterday and told us that he likes his African church more and would never convert because he doesn't like Henry- it was a lot of drama, to say the least. Man. I've been a bit iffy about Safee from the get-go, but I retained a perfect brightness of hope nevertheless- totally misguided, I learned this week. Dang flab.  It was so discouraging, because Safee, although unreliable and generally flakey, is a total gem and a total fave- and it feels like a complete break up! I know it'll be okay, but I'm a bit heartbroken about it all. 

But alas, after our Safee lesson we ran off to the Orozco's and taught Ruby- and it was the GREATESTTTTT!!! Opposition in all things, right?  We taught her the Restoration and she told us that she felt the Spirit when we first met her a couple weeks ago and knew that what we said was true- AHHHHHH!!!! Such a miracle!!  Ruby is just amazing- one of those investigators you dream of and pray for and hope actually exists. It's incredible! We left her with a Book of Mormon and a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and we scheduled a return appointment for next Friday- I am so SO SOOOO jazzed to be teaching her. She's the coolest!! Such a blessing to be teaching her! 

And then, it was Friday! Yahoo!! We had district meeting in the morn and tried oodles of potentials in the afternoon time and taught Cheska- it was wee bit rough. We talked about the sabbath day and the sacrament and there was all kinds of awkward tension in the air...all of which we're still analzying at great length. Weird, weird. She committed to come to church and then didn't show- rough stuff! 

We finished up our Friday by teaching Safee, who narrowly dodged our six o'clock appointment- the worst. He begged our forgiveness and we scheduled anther appointment...which he also missed. Rough stuff with that Safee! 

On Saturday, we did oodles of finding and ate dinner with the too cute Smiths out in Buxton- and their non-member friend Tasha came along, too! Such a blessed time.  We reviewed the Restoration and then hightailed it back to Grand Forks...when Henry called and told us to come to dinner at his place. Oh man.  We ran to his place, because his friendship means more to us than comfort or sensibility...and we ate the spiciest African food I've had since my Juliana days. It was rough. Bro. Smith and his fam came too, and I ended up eating so much homemade cheesecake just to extinguish the soul fire of casava leaves- man oh man, it was so unpleasant. We did teach Henry afterwards and all was well in Zion...but MAN, I don't know how we managed to eat so much food. By the grace of God, probably! 

On Sunday, we went to church (dying all the while because of our overly expanded stomachs right before fast Sunday) and partied so hard- such a good day! Henry called just as we were gearing up to leave the parking lot and bossily told us to come over...and we ate leftovers from our dinner. Oh man, it was rough! It was a bit less spicy and we managed to make a good dent in it...goodness, I don't know how much more Henry food I can eat. It's not good. Buster has been teaching him to cook but it's just so bad- his efforts are admirable, though. He's still a good person, even if he can't cook for squat. And, he's straight up adorable. He asked, as we ate, what we call it when the food sleeps- AHHH, I just adore him! We taught him about leftovers but I think saying that the food was sleeping is way more cute...ahhh, Henry. Love him!! 

We ate actual dinner with the Deems on Sunday- oh my goodness, it was the greatest thing EVER. The Deems are probably the classiest people I know, complete with a carpeted dining room and homemade raspberry jam...such a lovely dinner. I adore them!!

We finished up our Sabbath by teaching Joe (love him!!) and trying the masses...and chatting with Bro. Orozco about all the new move-ins over hot chocolate. The best!! 

Welp, that was our week- it was a good one! And, just so we're all on the same page, transfer calls are coming in hot tomorrow...I don't think anything is going to change, but I don't want to freak you out too completely if something yeah, they'll be a thing tomorrow. I'll tell you all about it next time! 

I love you all so much! Have the greatest week!!

Sister Robinson 

being silly. :)

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