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.  

Wild Monkeys

Dear Family,
This week has been pretty good.  Fast, and long, at the same time. As always.
I'm at a loss for what to write....
We're working on locating all of the 'lost sheep' on the branch directory.  The other day, we found a name for a lady who stays up behind the national zoo, so Elder Scott and I thought we should go take a look.  haha, we didn't realize that the neighborhood it was on was a super steep hill up near the mountains, and that it was one of the uber fancy areas outside of downtown.  It was up a green canyon, it rained slightly, and the weather was much cooler.  It was so nice walking up there, a needed breather from the city.  We finally found the house (it had an audi r8 parked in the drive way O.o ) and found out that the family had a divorce, but we were able to locate a new address for the church member.  As we were walking, a pack of wild monkeys surprised us, and were swinging on the branches just like the movies.  I find monkeys quite creepy, especially these ones.  later that night, we found some more houses in a sketchy part of downtown.  If you saw the addresses that were recorded, and then the street system in this town, you'd understand the miracle that finding these houses is.  I'm always shocked when I get an impression to just look up, or to the left, and there is the place we're looking for.  It gives some encouragement and reassurance that what you are doing is right, when it seems like all related efforts are useless.  Most of the time we just find empty flats, or the current resident has no idea who the person is.  I wonder where they are right now, and what they remember from when they were welcomed in. 

We actually found one man, and he hadn't been to church in years after his baptism because he never received his baptismal certificate. 
We were able to have our quarterly personal interviews with President Mains the other day.  Elder Scott and I got to meet him in his hotel, and had our interviews in the hotel's super fancy board room (interesting location).  It was nice to be with him- always is.  He has a lot of pressure on him from so many different sources, and still looks bright and happy when we meet him.  It always helps us.  He also makes it a point to thank us for what we're doing.  It feels nice to know that what we're doing is appreciated.  During my interview, he asked me how my Bahasa was... which makes me think that not much longer and I will be sent over to east malaysia. 
We've been praying to find a family for some time.  We're actually meeting with Alice's daughter and son-in-law's family tonight.  We hope that this is the answer to our prayers.  Alice is becoming such a strong member of the ward, and I think her conversion will be an example for her children's families.  Hearing how happy and thankful Alice makes all of us, including Alice, eager to share it with her family. 
I think it was overall a pretty hard week.  We had a lot of people fall through, and a lot of the people we count on to help were either too busy, had surgery, or fell off the face of the planet.  We also had some issues with a companionship in the Zone.  It was an interesting experience trying to sort things out, while still maintaining good terms... especially when that wasn't a mutual concern.  Oh well, I think it turned out alright.
Maybe I should write some good things that happened. 
I went on exchanges with some chinese elders, so that was pretty fun.  Elder Stahle went on exchanges with them, and stayed with us at our house.  He's always fun to have around, although he likes to pillow talk way too late! haha.  We also had an appointment with our indonesian investigator Debora.  When she walked up to us in the mall, she was beaming.  when we met with her, she talked about how her whole attitude is changing, and how she is seeing life so differently.  We can't take much credit for any of it, because she attributes it all to the promptings she receives as she reads from the Book of Mormon, and the guidance and comfort she receives through her own prayer.  I'd rather have it that way anyway.
One of our waay cool investigators John came to church yesterday, and went to the YSA fireside last night.  He is doing so well, and loves listening to the talks at church (we need to get more people around here to have that attitude haha).  Sis. Moore gave him an assignment to teach part of the ysa lesson next week, and he accepted!  He starting from the ground up when it comes to learning about Christianity, but in his own terms, he is beginning to understand the language of God through the feelings he is experiencing. 
We will actually be in Singapore this thursday/friday. 

Elder Steadman was an old AP.  He is really cool.  He was Elder Trotter's companion in the MTC.
Elder Robinson