Monday, December 9, 2013

Greetings From KK

Dear family,
I'm currently writing this email in the beautiful city of Kota Kinabalu.  It is absolutely gorgeous here.
  I'm trying to write this email as fast as possible, because we are going to the beach to play volleyball
 in just a few minutes.
It has been the biggest transition ever coming here from Kuala Lumpur- I feel like I'm a new missionary again.
  The air is so clean/fresh, there is always a cool sea breeze, everyone here speaks PERFECT
 bahasa- it blows my mind.  The people are mostly Melayu, Katazan, Dusun, and Chinese, bu
t the best part is that everyone (including the chinese and little kids) speak fluent bahasa.  It's really cool. 
 We stay in a beach resort right in the center of downtown KK.  The location is excellent, but
 I am disgusted with the inside of the house (missionary houses... go figure).  I made some
 executive plans that right after the beach we're all coming home and deep cleaning the house
 ( I already bought the clorox and scrub brushes >.<)
My companion's name is Elder Johnson.  He only has 6 weeks left in his mission, so I need to learn
 the ropes of this place fast.  He is from a military family, and he has lived in texas, england, and japan.
 He is really nice, obedient and hard working.  We have been getting along really well so far.  All of the
 good things aside, it has actually been quite discouraging this pa st week.  I left one of the coolest areas 
in the whole mission, which we had worked so hard to get moving and we saw such awesome results, to
 here where we literally have no investigators.  I couldn't believe it.  Everyone talks about how east is
 where all the work is, and how west is so slow.  Not so.  It kinda feels like someone threw on the e-brake
 on the freeway haha.  It was very strange reporting to the assistants this morning with almost all 0's
 across the board.  I guess it's ok, because all we can go is up.  The elders in the zone are already so
 cool, but kind of seem to be in the same slump.  We hope we can try to get people excited about the
work and not just the cool place we're in.
So, I had the best last few days in KL ever.  I was sick, but had way to many people to see and meet
 before I left, so we made it happen.  It was so awesome to meet with everybody one last time.  It's crazy
 how close you get to the branch you serve in.  It was hard because we were running literally all over town
, and I wasn't sleeping at night, so I have been drained this whole week.  I feel a lot better now.  Also
, I had next to no appetite while I was sick, but EVERYONE fed us SO MUCH FOOD.  Just to name a few....
 RIch and Delynne took us to get Spanish Tapas, SIs. Amika made us punjabi food, the Moore's had the
 missionaries over for a mormon christmas dinner (they got non halal ham!), the Woodford's had homemade
 pumpkin cheesecake and blueberry pie, Sis. Padmah took us to get tamil banana leaf rice... I literally
 thought I was going to pop.  Also, I've already been a bit spoiled here in KK.  I told Sis. Sophie in Klang
 that I was going to KK, so she arranged for her brother to pick me up from the airport here, give me a tour
 of the city, and take me to lunch.  He was so kind, we're going to try and meet him again.  Also, there is an
 embassy family in the KL branch named the Foxes, and Bro. Fox followed the ambassador to KK this
 weekend and took me and my companion to get hungarian food here (random, but delicious).  It's all
 about who you know, right? :)
Like I said before, I feel like I'm learning everything all over again.  Thankfully, all the bahasa study during
 my stay in KL paid off.  We're excited to work hard here.  THe members are so inspiring- one of them just
 opened a mission call yesterday to the philipines.  I'm happy to be here.  Oh, and I felt bad that I didn't wish
 anyone happy birthdya.  I always remember right after I leave the internet place.  so,
 Happy Birthdya Eric, Mom, and Dad! 
ELder RObinson

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dear Family,

The news just came in about transfers.  Everyone tries to guess what's going to happen, but, at the end of the day, it's always a bit of a surprise.  I'm shifting to Kota Kinabalu, which is in Sabah! (East Malaysia).  I'm really excited.  This is one of the most coveted areas for Bahasa speakers because it's known to have the 'purest' bahasa.  We'll see how my KL bahasa survives up there >.<  So I misunderstood President on the phone, but I just got the transfer email so apparently I'm still a Zone Leader, but in KK.  I'm going to miss KL a lot.  I can't believe it's been just about a year since I came here.  I know just about every strong member in all the branches, have been to every tourist attraction on Pdays (multiple times, unfortunately), and know how to get around anywhere here.  It's sad to be leaving all the people here, whether it's missionaries, investigators, or members.  They have all been such good examples to me.  Kota Kinabalu (KK as it's known here) is going to be a lot different than KL, so I kind of feel like I'm going into a greenie situation.  It's also unfortunate that I'm leaving right before Christmas.  Hopefully it will be nice in KK.

****no one can concentrate on emailing because everyone is talking transfers****

We had a really cool week- culminating in the baptism of Deborah.  It's was so cool.  We sang the opening and closing hymns in indonesian, which was a lot of fun, but she was adamant on having the service in English.  There was a big turn out from the branch, and members of other branches too.  I got one of those 24 hour flu things yesterday, and was struggling, but ended up having a fantastic day.  

***** I've been on the computer for 30 minutes and this is all I've written- transfers are so distracting*****

We had MLC this week- which was soooo good.  One of the few reasons why I am glad to still be a zone leader is that I will be able to attend more MLCs.  President and Sister Mains prepared a thanksgiving meal for us, which was really nice.  We talked a lot about how, as leaders, the difficult part is not managing, but trying to inspire those around us.  Apparently I still haven't learned my lesson about that haha.  I think President Mains is such a good example of doing both extremely well.  

how about if you have any questions just email me and I will respond.
Elder Robinson

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dear Family,

I am SO happy that it is Monday.  The past few days have been so stressful, also soooo good though.  Unfortunately our preparation day will be cut in half because we have to make Baptismal programs and go with a member from another branch to meet his friend in a kind of obscure part of KL.  woof.  

So.... From Wednesday onwards was so busy.  The Assistants were doing their routine exchanges with us, so naturally we were a bit stressed.  It doesn't matter who it is, if there is someone following you, it takes more energy because for some reason you feel the need to be extra alert.  I really like the Assistants, so it's not nearly as bad as I'm making it sound.  In fact, Elder Harper and I pillow talked a ton about all the fun we'll have at BYU in the Rumah Panjang (the team singapore house).  So if having the Assistants here wasn't enough, we had President and Sister Mains in town, AND a General Authority.  This week was the Kuala Lumpur District Conference, and Elder and Sister Funk from Hong Kong came down to preside over the Conference.  Lots of cool experiences.  It was stressful trying to get all the missionaries there on time and with their suit coats.  Naturally, something would go terribly wrong, as in, one of the ELders from Malacca suit jacket was stolen, so I had to do some last minute arranging with the Expat members from our branch!  I didn't realize that the two people were completely different sizes, so he looked very funny in the little suit!  

Cool experiences with District Conference:
1.  The entire focus of the conference was getting the members involved in the missionary work.  So many of the speakers gave cool stories of how they were converted, and how critical other members were in their conversion.  It's interesting because here, almost everybody is a convert.  There are very few exceptions where families have multiple generations in the church.  
2.  On Saturday Morning, President Mains had my companion and me come to the church to meet with President Dass (district President) and Elder Funk.  It was really cool to talk to him.  He just finished being a mission president in India before he was called as a general authority.  He's in the seventy, spoke at the latest general conference, and is in the Asia Area Presidency.  On the Saturday evening session of conference, several members went up to the Funks and told them how good the work was doing in the KL branch, so he took us and the sisters aside and talked.  It was really cool. 
3.  President Mains headed a meeting after District Conference for investigators and new members.  It was so good.  President Mains did such a good job of encouraging investigators to continue on the path of living the gospel.  We have 4 investigators there and 2 recent converts, and all of them were so impressed with President Mains.  All of them want to be baptized. 
5.  After the investigator meeting, Elder Funk wanted to spend some time with the missionaries.  He served his mission in the Singapore Mission wayyyy long ago!  He told us how in 1969 (?) President Ezra T. Benson visited South East Asia, and dedicated/created the South East Asia Mission, which would be headquartered in Singapore, where it remains today :)  He was sent to Jawa, Indonesia (areas around Jakarta and stuff) where the church was so small.  He and his companions were the group that replaced the first elders in Indonesia, and he learned how to speak Bahasa Indon! So cool to talk to an older american in bahasa.... He mentioned how at the time, he and his companion opened up areas, and now, there are 3 stakes in Indonesia!  It was very inspiring.  He told us he was proud of what we were doing in KL (which makes the zone leaders feel good ^__^), and that in our lifetime, we will see the growth that he has seen in his own mission.  He talked about how influential his mission was in setting up his life, and how on his way home, he stopped in Hong Kong, and thought "what a beautiful place, I could bring my wife back here" and now he and his wife live in Hong Kong!  So cool.  

Sis. Deborah (our investigator from Bali) came to district conference, and I was frantically looking for her... and then I found her, sitting between two members of the KL Branch!  One was American, and the other Indian.  I was so happy.  John, our other investigator, showed up in a shirt and tie!  Deva who called before and said he probably wasn't coming since he was still recovering from his fever, came!  So hectic trying to talk to everybody, but so awesome to see and be able to talk to everybody.  Deborah passed her baptismal interview, and will be baptized after church this sunday.

I went to Klang on exchanges last week and things were interesting.  The work has slowed down so much there, and the Elders were super discouraged.  It was disappointing for me, because I had served there for so long and know what the area is capable of, to see the Elders not doing as much and telling me, upfront, that they were just waiting until transfers next week.  Not the kind of things I like to hear.  They took me to see some of the recent converts there, and then we had the first ever English class in Klang.  They planned the first one to be the day I came (without telling me), and wanted me to lead it.... all of this was told to me one hour before.  The senior couple was there, and we had 7 members come and 2 non members!  It was so cool.  It inspired me to start english classes in KL branch.  We have lots of Americans that would be such good resources to people who want to perfect/improve their English.  most people in our area speak english, but as I was contacting people on the train this week, it seemed like all people would be interested in a free class at the church, taught by americans.  We thought it would be a great way to get the Expat members involved in meeting new people, serving the community, and being a part of missionary work.  We're meeting with the Branch President tonight to plan it.

Transfers are next week.  The assistants told me that I was for sure leaving KL.  It will be a sad day.  Especially because we have 4 people planning on being baptized in the next 6 weeks.  Oh well, on to my next favorite area. 

Oh!  Sis Sophie took us to dinner while we were in Klang- Bak Kut Teh, pork in herbal stew... so good.  She also brought Beef Rendang and Lebanese rice for us at district conference!  Yum

Ok Bai!
Elder Robinson

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dear Family,

This week was very long, and full of interesting experiences.  
We had more people cancel on us, not answer their phones, or not show up to appointments than I have ever had on my mission. :(
         There were two times when we had members following us to appointments and when we arrived there, then the investigator informed
         us that they wouldn't be able to meet.  Thankfully, we have really awesome members who understand how the work goes.  

This past week, all of our solid investigators told us they wouldn't be able to meet except for on Sunday at church, so we were a little
        disappointed we weren't going to be able to see them, but I would rather have them be able to come to church on sundays, and
        not be able to meet us, than the other way around.  
We tried to get creative in the ways we used time wisely (<- or attempted to).  We decided to try contacting in some
        neighbourhoods near member's homes that we hadn't tried before.  So, we find one neighbourhood around a member's home
       that we recently visited, and decided to go there.  Well, when we got on a bus bound for the place, we overshot it a bit, and
       decided to just go out contacting there.  There were a ton of empty houses from the 70's, and as we walked deeper into
      the place, it all of a sudden turned into the Beverly Hills of KL, all giant mansions with tons of fancy cars.... so no one wanted
       to talk to us... and there wasn't anyone to talk to... too many fancy gates.  I was feeling very down (as I now do when there
       isn't anyone to talk to... besides the comp).  We randomly appeared at the city park, Titiwangsa, so we decided to walk by
      the lake.  It was full of melayu muslims, so we were feeling even more disappointed.  Then, out of the blue, we hear
      "wanagarm" and an indian man grinning at us.  I responded in the 10 tamil words I know, haha, and then he starts flying at
       me in tamil.  I told him we only spoke english and bahasa, and he told me he had met missionaries in the past that spoke tamil.
        We sat down on a bench with him, and shared a brief message with him.  He kept saying how happy he was to see us
       and talk.  He wasn't interested in meeting again, but he really appreciated us lifting his spirits.  It lifted ours too.  

Super cool experience.

I was sitting on a train near the Putra World Trade Center, when this guy about my age comes and sits across from me.
         He looked European, so I asked where he was from.  He was from Paris, and was doing a study abroad here at a
        malaysian university.  He saw a Book of Mormon in my hands, and asked if I was a mormon.  It turns out that he did a
       foreign exchange in Colorado, and his host family were church members.  He remembered how nice they were to him,
      and told us he was really impressed with them.  I invited him to come to the YSA activity (yesterday), and he seemed
      really excited to come.  \
       *fast forward to Sunday** Antoine and 3 of his friends frmo France came to the YSA Thanksgiving
      dinner at the Moore's house, and had such a good time.  We had copies of the Book of Mormon in French for them.
        They were shocked at how there were so many ysa people coming together from so many different races and backgrounds,
        and that we would invite them/give them copies in French.  They were so cool.  One of them is interested in coming to a
        Sunday service.  I was able to sit by them and talk about our beliefs with them, and they were thankful that they knew
        more now.  It's the little things like that, our efforts in bringing the message 'forth out of obscurity' that make this work so cool.  
So this whole week was super difficult/trying, but Sunday made it ALL worth it.  I have a quote on my desk that says,
        "believe with all your heart that how you live your life makes a difference".

        There were so many times I wanted to give
       up, and was tempted to just take the easy way out, but we kept remembering this quote, and that there was a reason
       why we had to always stay faithful.  It's interesting that there is definitely an opposition in all things, good and bad, so
      that we can fully appreciate the miracles that happen in our life.  I know that was the case for this past week.  The whole
      week preceding Sunday was very trying, but when Sunday came, it was such a stark contrast that the 6 days before
      sunday seem pale in comparison!  

What happened sunday?
We had 4 people come to church, and each person had a member with them to explain things, to answer questions during
        classes, and each were invited to come over to their home.  All four of the people repeatedly told us that they are for sure
        getting baptized.  The members were so great for all of them.  The members take so much initiative- calling investigators and
        inviting them over/to church independent of the missionaries!  Bringing food/treats for them too!  I love it.  
After church we had the YSA activity at the Moores.  The Moores are some of the greatest people on earth.  We actually
        went over to help make some of the food on Saturday with one of the people we're meeting with, and it turned out to be
        much more than we had expected.  haha.  Sister Moore has a very specific (extremely efficient and high quality) way of
        doing things, and she expects everyone who is contributing to the final product to follow the same way.  Power to her.
         haha we were so afraid of cutting the vegetables the wrong way!  In the end, everything turned out so nice.  The best
        part of it all was that we had 6 people there, four of which were our friends frmo France.  One of our investigators, John,
        had such a good time.  It was so great to see the YSA welcome him in.  It was also good to see a lot of familiar faces from
        around the district.  

After the activity, we had Beh (from Klang) follow us to Padmah's house, to have an appointment with Deborah.
        It was so great to be with all of them- all of them are people that I have helped prepare for baptism.  Deborah was
        so appreciative of the gospel in her life, and her decision to be baptized in 2 weeks.  Padmah also said how proud she
       was of her church, the gospel, and her big family of friends.  

I know I'm missing a lot... long story short, it was a good week.  We go to Singapore on Thanksgiving for MLC.  

Ok bai\
Elder Robinson
here, four of which were our friends frmo France.  One of our investigators, John, had such a good time.
         around the district.  

After the activity, we had Beh (from Klang) follow us to Padmah's house, to have an appointment with
        Deborah.  It was so great to be with all of them- all of them are people that I have helped prepare for
          baptism.  Deborah was so appreciative of the gospel in her life, and her decision to be baptized in
        2 weeks.  Padmah also said how proud she was of her church, the gospel, and her big family of friends.  

I know I'm missing a lot... long story short, it was a good week.  We go to Singapore on Thanksgiving for MLC.  

Ok bai\
Elder Robinson

Dear Family,

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Crazy Week

Dear Family,
> Sorry I didn't write you guys last week... if it's any consolation, I didn't write anyone!

 We landed in Singapore late and had a lot of eating to fit in before the conference started- in fact,
 I just sat at a random computer and sent a quick picture to one of the Assistants.  Singapore was really nice, 
this Zone Conference was just West Malaysia and Sabah Zones.  It is always good to see people that used to
 serve here.  There were lots of really good talks given at the Zone Conference.  President Mains related the 
example of the old way people used to harvest wheat, using a sickle and taking a long time and many hands 
to get just a little product.  He then showed us a video of the combines used now to harvest and thresh wheat.
  He related the large wheels out front to the now 15 million members of the church, and that the missionaries 
were the tools in back that threshed the tares which the large wheels (the members) had already brought in. 
 We've also been studying a case study from the Boston Mission Cambridge area, about how missionaries and
 the ward came together and transformed the area into a super productive one.  We're trying to implement
 the same into the KL branch.
> One of the Assistants, Elder Harper (who I'm living with when I get back), gave a really good talk about
how we're not just here to gain experiences, and prepare ourselves for the future.  Not just getting
 "spiritual muscles".  He said how the scriptures say the field is white already to harvest, and that we should
 be moving the work forward, not just ourselves.  This actually is a big problem I think among missionaries, 
that they do missionarythings well, but they forget that we're trying to do something much bigger.
  Elder Harper said it much more eloquently.
> Oh!  I think it's fantastic that Eric met the Woodford's daughter.  They've been asking me about
 Eric recently.  You'll have to invite her to dinner or something, because the Woodford's do so
 much down here.  In fact, just yesterday we brought one of our most progressive investigators to
 their house to talk about her baptism.  Her name is Deborah, and she is from Bali Indonesia.  She 
was an accountant at a hotel in Bali that was attacked in the Bali Bombings.  She was left with nothing. 
 One day, while contemplating what she should do, she saw a pastor on a tv sharing a scripture from the 
bible.  She said that it touched her, and brought peace- something she hadn't felt in a long time.  She decided
 to learn more, and 6 months later was baptized into a methodist church in Indonesia.  (she was previously 
Muslim, and her family essentially disowned her for it)  She decided to move to Malaysia 7 years ago, and I
 actually met her at a member's christmas party last year!  A different member introduced us to her a few
 months ago.  After reading the Book of Mormon (already in Mosiah), and meeting, she has decided that 
she wants to join.  She told us yesterday how impressed she was with the Woodfords, and how humble they
 were.  This branch is so cool.  Her baptism is scheduled for Dec. 1.
> Transfers are on Dec. 5, and I'm afraid I'm going to be sent out.  It's sad that it's right before Christmas
(  Oh, i probably should ask for some new clothes... mine don't look so good.  My belt is completely ruined
 (yet barely wearable ^__^) and my white shirts are few and getting kind of dingy.  Also some more clothes for
> I got the package in Singapore!  Unfortunately, I opened it in the hotel room when we had almost all the
 elders in the Zone jumping on my bed, so most of the food has already been consumed.  I loved the nuts.
 I didn't share those with anyone hehe.
> There are so many cool things about to happen in this branch, and you can literally feel that the opposition
 is getting more intense.  It seems like whenever something really good is about happen, or could happen, the efforts
 against it double.  It reminds me of the Brigham Young quote that talks about the bells in hell ringing when the saints try
 to build a temple, and he responds, let em ring!  Let's just say the bells having been ringing loud and clear recently, and
 we've been saying the same!  I love being in this branch, I'm going to be really sad if I leave.  The work here is picking up,
 and the members are too.
> OH!  I almost forgot!  The coolest thing happened to me while I was going to Singapore!  So, the whole Zone
 boardst he plane and then a ton of Melayus get on, wearing these fancy nike shirts with a yellow badge.  They had an air
 aboutthem that told us they were athletes.  We all suspected they were someone big, but everyone was too chicken to
 ask them.
 Finally, when we're walking through immigration, I go up and ask them, and it turns out they're the Malaysian
 national Soccer team, Harimau Malaya, and I asked the head coach if I could get their picture.  So I lined up with
 the whole team, while the Zone sat and watched, at the last minute, my comp jumped in the pic.  so cool.

> We've been so busy this past week.  I don't even know where the time goes.  This sounds so cliche,
 but it's really funny just how much you get attached to the work.  The other day, we were on the
 train coming home late, and I started talking to an indian woman wearing a cross.  She accepted a
 pamphlete, and as I got off the train, i looked through the window and saw her reading it.  Such a
 small thing, but I remember feeling so excited that she was reading it, that something stood out
 to her about it, and that maybe, just maybe, that seed would be planted.  I had that same

excitement when a potential investigator came to a service project!  It also has the reverse effect
 when disappointments happen.... which is unfortunately frequent.  I'm so happy that we're busy.
  Busy pushing the work forward.  You can feel the difference between missionaries that aren't
 busy, those that are busy, and those that are busy fulfilling their purpose and calling.  Always striving for the latter.
> Ok goodbye
> Elder Robinson
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Post Transfers

Dear Family,

Wow- it sounds like you all had a nice week.  I'm so happy that you were able to meet up with Sis. Sophie, Janelle, Mike, and Melody.  I cannot believe the Jake Trotter was at the house haha.  I miss all of them so much.  We had such a nice time while in Klang, it's nice to be able to go back every now and again for exchanges.  Not many people in this mission get that experience, so I'm glad I did.  They do such a good job at keeping the missionaries and the church in that part of KL afloat.  I hope Mike is doing ok, we think about him all the time.  It seems like his work situation is no good in SLC.  I'm hoping that having his family here has helped raise his spirits.

I see you got the last minute email- I'm staying in KL for another transfer.  haha I can't believe I have been in the city this long.  My nickname throughout the mission is turning into the "KLKid" because by the end of this transfer, I'll have been here for a year O.o  I'm glad that I've been able to spend a lot of time in my two areas here.  This past week has reminded me of several reasons why I given the opportunity to be for so long.  Both Elder Scott and I have been able to work a lot with the members in the KL Branch, and have gotten really close to them.  I think they're some of the greatest people in the world, and they do so much for us.  One night this week, we had a couple, Rich and Delynne, and the Branch President's Family (the Woodfords), take us out to Chinese food.  It was such a nice dinner because we spent the time talking about missionary work, all the changes that have taken place in the KL branch in the past few months, and how excited we were all to be there, and to be a part of the work.  It meant a lot to hear that these power members in the Branch were appreciative of us, and it makes me want to go out and do even more.  They treat us so well, and are such examples too.  Just this morning, we got an sms from one of the sisters saying, "I saw you all on the other train, and hope that you're all having a good day.  Shout out if there is anything we can do to help"  Yesterday, at church, we had an investigator coming for the first time.  The chapel is easy to find once you've been there before... So, naturally, our investigator had no idea where to go.  After Sacrament meeting, Elder Rasmussen and I went outside to call him.  Mid conversation, Bro. Moore comes out and tell us to get in his car, we're finding him.  The missionary work has gone on so well because we have so many key people on board.

I should have planned a bit more what I wanted to write, because I feel a bit scatterbrained today.

Oh!  So my new companion is named Elder Rasmussen.  He is from Franklin, Tennessee (just outside Nashville), went to BYU a year before his mission, and is from my same MTC group.  I didn't know him very well in the MTC, but I sat next to him on the way from Los Angeles to Hong Kong... a hint gone undiscovered that I would soon be strapped to his hip for much longer than a 14 hour plane ride :)  He is great, and we're already having a good time.  He has never served in a branch for longer than 12 weeks, so he hopes that he is here to stay for a while.  He has served in Bintulu, Singapore, Sabah, and now KL.  It was sad to see Elder Scott go, but I'm sure he's doing well in Sibu.  I can't believe we were companions for 3 transfers... it went by really quickly, and ages at the same time.

We had 6 investigators come to church yesterday.  We have a baptism planned for this month, and hopefully some more before Christmas.  We have such cool investigators, but they can only meet once or twice a week.  This means that we spend a lot of time contacting and just talking to new people.  I'm always impressed at how willing people are to talk, even when it doesn't seem like it on the outside.  It's often the hardest thing to do, to just open your mouth, but I rarely have a bad experience doing it.  Each time I get a prompting to talk to someone, I always find that there is a reason for it.  For some reason or another, every person that we run into, or are around, was placed there for a reason.  That being said, I find it ironic that of the millions of people in this city, we always run into the same (sometimes 'crazy') people... missionary life...  

I feel bad that I don't have any specific stories in this email.  We had a lesson with a 23 year old Chinese guy named John.  He was the guy that stopped us on his motto and said that he wanted to come to church.  He has been doing so well, and loves the YSA here.  We had a lesson with him, and decided to invite Vaanitha (who was just baptized last week).  We taught about Jesus Christ, his life, and how his sacrifice for us can make such a difference in our lives.  The best part of the lesson was when Vaanitha bore testimony.  I was shocked at some of the things she said!  John also loved hearing it from her, and would then ask her questions about the Gospel.  It was so cool to see a newly baptized member taking such a proactive role in helping our investigator understand the importance of the Savior-- especially when he has no prior knowledge about Jesus Christ.  I think it is really powerful when a members testifies and promises to an investigator during a lesson.  John felt it, and told us of his new determination to get to know the Savior personally.  Vaanitha was raised hindu, and John Buddhist, one indian, the other Chinese, and yet the principles of the gospel transcend what the rest of KL would label uncompromising differences.  I'm glad we get to be here for it!

We heard news that by 2015, the church is planning on opening the Kuala Lumpur STAKE!  We have the required number of melchezidek priesthood holders now, we just need to increase numbers.  This will be the first stake in Malaysia!  Even though I won't be here to see it, it still feels awesome to be a part of it all.  President Mains has asked all Zone Leaders to meet with their district presidents, especially us here in KL, to find out how we can integrate the members and the missionaries better.  It's neat, and a bit daunting, to discussing about such big things with the key leaders who are making history here.  We're excited.  The missionaries have been working with locating and accounting for all members on the branch lists, and we hope to have a more accurate number soon.  

We are trying out a new internet Cafe, and they play super loud club music, so I'm attributing this email's 'lacking' to our inability to stay concentrated in here!

I'm 100% sure that next transfer I will be out of here.  I have no idea where I will go next, and it's weird to even think about serving in a non KL place. haha.\

Ok bai!  Say hello to the Tings for me!
Elder Robinson
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Monday, October 21, 2013

Super Good Week

Dear Family,

This week was so good.  Elder Scott and I have attributed it all to prayer.  Last week during reporting with the Assistants, they asked if we had been praying vocally as a companionship more.  We hadn't.  So we made it a point to pray more, together.  It seemed uncomfortable at first, but we soon saw the benefits of it.  We noticed we were more focused during times when we usually weren't.  We felt like we were calibrated with the Spirit, and with the Lord's will, more.  We noticed that we weren't as annoyed with things.  We felt more promptings throughout each day to pray more, and with each prayer, we found ourselves trusting more and more to God's will.  It's hard to describe, but something felt.  It seemed like there were a lot more miracle stories throughout the week.

Sister Alice, who was baptized in late August, introduced us to two of her daughters and their families this week.  Their families are so good, just like Alice, and were interested in learning more.  Alice was a single mother when they were young, and had to split the family up and put them in separate houses to ensure each would be properly taken care for.  She feels so sad that she couldn't bring them all up on her own, but feels such a responsibility to help them now.  Her children were all raised Hindu, so introducing the Gospel of Jesus Christ is new for all of them.  Alice is the real driving force, and you can tell just how important it is for her children to feel the joy that she has experienced.  We are planning on seeing them more this week.

We had a baptism on Saturday!  It was such a nice day.  Padmah's daughter, Vishar, was baptized, along with the sister missionaries' investigator Vaanitha Wilson.  They are both so cool.  Vaanitha is 18, and is planning on serving a mission next year.  Vaanitha's mother came to the baptism, who is a hindu, and made so many friends, especially with Padmah.  The KL branch is so good.  It's like one big family.  Literally everyone that we bring always has the same description for the people there "genuine" and "like family".  The best part about it is that there are people from all over the world, and from just about every walk of life.  Just yesterday we watched the Asia Area Conference via broadcast from Salt Lake City.  Elder David F. Evans, of the 70, along with Elder Robert D. Hales and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland addressed us.  It was to over 18 countries.  The Asia area covers most of the worlds population, and is one of the frontiers of the church in this time (that was a long intro for just one line.... haha). Elder Holland made a comment that seemed like it was directly aimed for malaysia that really stood out for me.  He more or less said, "Every one of our Muslim, Buddhist, and HIndu brothers and sisters at one point in the premortal life accepted and supported our Father in Heaven's Plan of Salvation, of which Jesus Christ is the center".  I love that perspective, it changed how we see those around us.  One of the coolest parts of the mission is seeing the phenomenon of a person, who has never learned about the Gospel, realize it for themselves.  People on the outside see it as eliminating culture, and homogenizing people.  Quite the contrary.  It helps people find truths for themselves, and allows for them to realize their potential.  The different cultures, outlooks, and experiences are one of the reasons why KL Branch is soo cool!
Last night, one of the Expat couples, Rich and Delynne, invited us over to have a dinner/devotional with their parents (visiting from Canada), Vaanitha and her family, and Padmah/family.  It was such an uplifting night being with everyone, eating, enjoying the spirit, and learning together.  I remember just lying in bed smiling and wishing that every night could feel like that.

Thanks Grandma and Grandpa, I got the birthday card!  Say hi to Carolle and Spencer for me!

Also, I want to write Ashely and Braden.  Do you have their emails?

Transfers are coming in 10 minutes, so it'll be exciting to see what happens.(will be staying in KL)

Elder Sroufe!  Yeah, I remember him!  Many an interesting/funny experiences with that Elder!  Say hello to him from me.  

Package..... I can't think of anything that I need as of now....

ok Good bai
Elder Robinson

Monday, October 14, 2013


Dear Family,

Thank you for the birthday wishes!  It was a pretty fun birthday.  We were actually on exchanges with the Elders down in Malacca on thursday to friday, so that was fun.  The Malacca elders were teaching some people in chinese, and I was able to put my few words in.  They're a bunch of great elders down there.  They're teaching a chinese lady who owns a ton of restaurants and boutiques around West Malaysia, and when she asked how old I was, I said, "well, tomorrow I'll be 21!" She got excited and took us all out to one of her restaurants!  It was an organic vegetarian place, but the food was good and plentiful!  and FREE (<- usually determines how good a meal really is).  On my birthday, I woke up early to go on a run through the rice paddy fields, because last time I didn't get a picture, and when I got there, they had already been harvested and now it looked just like a big muddy swamp :/ oh well, had a nice run, and got to see some more of Malacca.  We planned on leaving Malacca at 12:00, but no one informed us that it was also the Sultan of Malacca's birthday, so everyone was off work/school, so we ended up being stuck at the bus depot for most of the day trying to get a bus back.  We got back to KL and had a nice appointment with Padmah.  The Senior Couples (Howells) are making me a pumpkin pie for district meeting on tuesday ^__^

I got a package in the mail from Chelsea, that was filled with fun gifts, but the best was a package full of letters from all my friends back home!  It was great to read all of them.
what else happened.
Speaking of public holidays.... this wednesday is Hari Raya Haji Qurban, so all the Muslims will be offering an animal sacrifice.  There are lots of cows being brought in, and I guess the 10th day of the 10th month of the Muslim Calendar commemorates when the Prophet "Ibrahim" went to sacrifice his son "Ismail" and God provided a ram.  They will sacrifice all the animals, and then make it into Beef Rendang (delicious). Only Muslims can partake of the rendang, so I won't get to eat any :(
It was nice to see part of conference.  We didn't watch it all, but the portions we did see were really good.  It seemed like there was a lot of emphasis placed on members reaching out and doing more.  I also felt like there was emphasis on the basics, especially the Gospel.  I've noticed that with all the things missionaries are supposed to teach/do, sometimes we forget that the most important thing we share is the Jesus Christ's Gospel.  Faith, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  If everyone could understand these principles, I think the world would be a much different place.  I guess that's where we come in!  President Mains invited us all to look for opportunities to repent, especially the mission leaders.  It's funny how after he said that, opportunities seem to come up right and left.  It takes a lot!
It is very exciting to be here on a mission.  I can't believe it's already been a year since Elder Bodhaine was making me breakfast for my birthday in Miri!  I'm really enjoying it, especially the people we get to meet and mix with (missionaries included!)  I've been looking through my journal over the past year and reading about all the experiences and such... good times.  I've been very fortunate/blessed to have had all the experiences that I have had in this life.  The best part is that I still have a lot more to go!!  I've noticed that when you are prepared, doing the right things, and serving others, time isn't such a bad thing, but more like a conveyer belt that brings more interesting things to you. 
Hope you're having a good week.  This week has flown by, and I can't think of what else you might want to hear.
ok Bai
Elder Robinson

Monday, October 7, 2013

Gooood Week

Dear Family,

Sorry you didn't get my emails last week, for some reason it sad Mom/Dad's email was blocking any letters from my account... I tried and retried several times, but then figured Eric/Kaitlin would have filled you in.   I wasn't transferred... transfers are on the 24th.  

There was a lot of cool things that happened this week.  On Thursday/friday we flew down to Singapore for MLC.  It was a very nice time.  I was able to go to my favorite Indonesian barbecue before the meeting, so that was nice.  It was a looooong meeting, from 3-9:30, but it was good.  President Mains didn't announce anything too crazy, but rather spent time teaching us (I prefer it that way).  There was the usual petty concerns that always get brought up, but the majority of the time was spent learning from President and Sister Mains.  President Mains, from the beginning, has been determined to have the Singapore Mission become a "Preach My Gospel Mission", and that each of us would become "Preach My Gospel Missionaries".  He helped put it in a really good perspective that we are all on our way to becoming the type of person that the Lord wants and expects us to be.  He has worked very hard to shape the 'culture' of the mission, and has done a great job of it.  Looking back from how the mission was one year ago, a lot of things have changed.  He is very good at seeking direction, and following it with exactness.

I also had a cool experience the other day.  I was out on exchanges with the District Leader in Klang- my first time being back since I left it.  When we got there, he hadn't planned anything, so we went back to the house and began looking through the area book.  It was interesting to see the records of all the people we had started teaching, and for one reason or another, had stopped.  We didn't have the complete address on a few of them (very hard to get here sometimes), so we decided we would go try and make contact with some of them.  One of the names was Zechariah- the punjabi man that we met in January, who seemed like he was so prepared, who knew gospel vocabulary, and seemed just like an American.  We had such high hopes for him back then, and then he completely fell off the radar.  Well, Elder Allen and I decided to try and locate his flat again.  After looking for some time, we decided to stop and pray, to ask for guidance on how to find his flat.  It was miraculous.  We both started walking, just talking to eachother.  We went up a few stories in a building and as we were passing a door, I saw his wife.  It shocked us both!  It freaked me out a bit, actually.  We darted out of the way, and said a prayer of thanks.  I walked back to the door, and said, hello.  His wife saw me, and says, "hello friend".  Zechariah, who was watching TV, turns and yells "ROBINSON CRUSOE, HOW ARE YA?"  Again, I was shocked!  I couldn't believe he remembered who I was.  It has been 8 months already, and we only met him 2x.  He said he had an errand to run in Sunway, and invited us to come with him and talk.  We drove with him for about an hour and a half, and talked about the gospel, about what had happened, about what he believed.  At the end of the night, he agreed to meet with the Klang elders again.  It was such a 'tender mercy' of the Lord to let me see him again.  I remember how excited I was when I met him, and how disappointed I was that we never saw him again.  I always thought it was because we had said something wrong.  I realize now that Heavenly Father had a different lesson in mind.  Seeing it through new eyes, I understood that before was just not the time for him, and that we do not get to choose another person's fate or timing.  what a nice night.

Oh, for the housing situation.  I'm fine with it.  I would look into the neighborhood, see how far away from campus, have kaitlin scope it out to make sure it's in a good place.  I'm a bit nervous it would be in some area where the ward would be full of married couples or old people.  Other than that, it should be fun.

We had  a fantastic day at church yesterday.  We had an investigator and her kids come for the first time, and we were shocked at how happy she was to be there.  

We also were looking for a name on the branch directory we had never met, and found him!  It turns out that he is a Melchezidek Priesthood holder, and it seemed like all he needed was a invite to come back.

I'm so done with typing already!  ok Bai
Elder Robinson

ps.  thanks for the package, the treats are sooo good.