Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 35

Hey everyone,

It's been a pretty good week.  I love the members of this ward!  It's been a lot of fun to serve here.  On Tuesday, one of the members took us to Rhuzen, an all you can eat Mongolian buffet on the Ave.  I may have mentioned this place before in one of my updates because Elder Hodson introduced it to me a few transfers ago.  I didn't know it was in my area now!  We all ate way too much, luckily we don't have a car so we could walk it off afterwards. :)

On Saturday, the ward north of us had a baptism, so our zone was pretty excited to get some of our investigators there.  It's been a few months since this zone has baptized.  This woman was 94 years old!  It took two people to baptize her because she's so frail!  Also she can't hold her breath for longer than 2 seconds, so it was pretty intense.  We were able to get "N" to the service; it's the first one he's been to!  We had a lesson with him afterwards and unfortunately he's still feeling held up by our teaching of modern day prophets.  He knows he wants to get baptized eventually, just not any time soon.

Here's our cool miracle from this week.  When we were tracting close to home, nothing good was happening, and after saying a prayer for direction we just felt like we should go to the opposite end of our area, which we typically don't like to do in the middle of our prime proselyting time because it takes half an hour to get there.  We hopped on the bus, and right after we sat down, this guy who was in the back walks over to us and says "Hey, I've been thinking about joining the Mormon faith and figured you would be the right people to talk to about that."  Heck yes we are!  He then pulled the Book of Mormon out of his backpack and showed us where he's been reading.  He's a YSA (young single adult), so we are referring him to SYSA 1st, where my boy Elder Skelton is serving!  It was really cool to see God's hand directly in the work.

I've been reading a lot of conference talks lately, and one of my favorites is "Of Regrets and Resolutions" by President Uchtdorf.  He talks about how if we live a life centered on the gospel, we won't be filled with regret nearing the end of our lives.  I really liked what he said about finding happiness in our current situation.  He says, "We shouldn't wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available-all the time!  Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect.  This is the day which the Lord hath made . . .," the Psalmist wrote "Rejoice and be glad in it."

I love you all!
Elder Robb

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 34

 Hellooo everybody!

We had a busy week!  The sad thing is, our area is not really any better than it was last week, but we were busy with two exchanges and some meetings too.  This is a hard area to do missionary work in.  Potentially because it's so small, everyone here has already been contacted by us!

On Tuesday Elder Cole and I went on exchanges with the zone leaders.  They do exchanges different now, instead of us just swapping areas/companions for the day, both E. Cole and I went to SYSA 3rd with them, and we just split up during the day.  The idea is that both of us should be in their proselyting area so that we can learn better from them.  It's hard for a leader to teach a missionary when they're not familiar with the area.  Anyway, it was super fun.  Elder Ellis and I went to Red Square, which is on UW campus and just talked to students whenever we didn't have a set appointment.  It was super fun to talk to kids my own age, college kids are way more open and polite too!  Later in the evening we had a sweet lesson with a guy named Jason.  We went over to teach a recent convert and she was playing Bananagrams with a bunch of friends in the lobby.  They all scattered when we showed up but "J" lingered!  We invited him to join in our lesson and he said "sure, I've never done this before!"  Next thing you know, a Book of Mormon was in his hands and he is getting baptized next month!

Also on Tuesday, we had a DLA meeting.  All the district leaders in the zone have a meeting with the zone leader's every week for an hour, and so we formed our own group.  We eat chocolate cake and have trainings on finding joy in the work, and then we play pool.  Their meeting went so long that we got pretty bored and ended up going to Red Square to contact. haha

 I went on another really sweet exchange later in the week.  I went with Elder Pulini, who is probably the biggest legend still alive in the mission.  He goes home next month, so he's built up of knowledge and experience.  He's like an old nuclear reactor, just emitting all this energy.  And he serves in downtown Seattle!  What a crazy place.  I think the biggest thing I learned from him is that I just need to be real with people.  I probably learned more from him than I learned in the other 8 months.  I'm feeling great at this point in my mission.
 On Saturday, President wanted to meet with me at the stake center.  He rebuked me for not emailing him in like 5 weeks, and then we had a really good conversation.  After that he drove us back to downtown, where we promptly headed to the nearest McDonald's, and we got there in perfect time, two members were in front of us in line and bought our food for us!  So cool!

We had another fireside, this one in Kirkland.  Now I've made it to all 8 stake centers in the mission.  Kind of crazy how fast the time goes.  Sometimes when people ask me how long I'd been out at the beginning of my mission, I'd say "a little under a year", the scary thing now is that that's a pretty accurate statement.
Love you all!  Have a great week!

Elder Robb

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 33 - Ravenna Park

Hey fam!

We had a solid week!  I got transferred to Ravenna Park in the Seattle North Zone!  It's a cool area, our ward is mostly young married grad students at UW, so it's a lot of fun!  My new companion is Elder Cole, he was actually my district leader for a few weeks after I got ET'd to West Seattle.  He's a good missionary, he's from Boise Idaho!  We don't have a car in this area, but it's small enough that we just walk and bike.

This area hasn't baptized in about a year and a half so we will have to change that!  We're working with a couple people.  One of them is "N", I love him already because he bought me E.J. Burger's on the Ave. :)  We also street contacted into another investigator earlier this week who is pretty cool, her name is "G".  She's never lived in a place longer than a year!  She's a senior in  high school and we taught her a couple times.  We're hoping she gets an answer to her prayers!

Other than that, there's not much to report.  I'm pretty short on time today just because of the holiday and so we gotta get heading out.  Here's my favorite scripture from the week though! Mosiah chapter 4!

6 I say unto you, if ye have come to a knowledge of the goodness of God, and his matchless power, and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering towards the children of men; and also, the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might come to him that should put his trust in the Lord, and should be diligent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith even unto the end of his life, I mean the life of the mortal body -

7 I say that this is the man who receiveth salvation, through the atonement which was prepared from the foundation of the world for all mankind, which ever were since the fall of Adam, or who are, or who ever shall be, even unto the end of the world.

Love you all!

Elder Robb

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 32

Helloooo friends and fam!

Not anything out of the ordinary to report this week.  We had a lot of solid commitments for people to come to church but then only "A" showed up.  It was a bummer because we were really happy that we found so many new people to teach this week and they were all planning on church!

We spent a lot of time in the junction talking to people, especially with the super bowl going on this Sunday.  We were not trying to knock doors through that.  Most of the people out on the streets were those who got too drunk and got kicked out of the bars.  Some funny drunk people, some super mean!!

Well, I'm getting transferred out of West Seattle.  It's been a good 5 months with lots of ups and downs.  I'm excited to get a fresh start somewhere.  I'll let you all know where I am next week!

Something that really motivated me this week was when our District Leader came over to help us with some struggles.  We all had a good talk, then we read out of Mosiah chapter 24.  Verse 14 really stood out to me.  "And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their affliction."

The classic verse about the Lord helping us through our trials.  It's comforting to know that He is there for us, when we are doing well, and when we are struggling.

Hope you all have a good week!

Elder Robb

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 31

Hey everyone!

Elder Woolf was pretty ill this week so we didn't go out too much, we basically only went to set lessons.  I was lucky though and went on a couple exchanges so I didn't have to stay in the apartment all week!
The first exchange I went on was to the Seahurst Spanish Branch with my district leader.  It was cool!  I learned more Spanish and had a huge nacho dinner with some members there, I didn't get to talk much because most the people they teach don't know English!  The very next day I went on another exchange with the zone leaders, I went to Myers Way Tonga with my dad Elder Follett.  It was fun!  They feed us LOTS of food!  We did some service for a YSA member, we chopped wood for two straight hours, I'm a lumberjack at this point.
The zone leaders cover our mission and Federal Way just so they can teach all the Tongans in the area, so there was a lot of drive time in between lessons, we had so much time that we listened to an entire talk by Jeffrey Holland called, "The Inconvenient Messiah."  It's way good.

We've been trying out some new places to eat in the area lately, especially since it's probably my last couple of weeks in West Seattle.  This week we went to Talarico's, which is supposed to be a super good pizza place  It was a cool atmosphere and the slices were huge but the pizza was sub-par!  After we left, a guy at the bus stop called us over to talk.  He spent a lot of time in Utah some years ago. 
Well "B" had us over and dropped us and told us to delete her number.  It's all good though.  Afterwards we went over to "R's" house, she's the Ethiopian lady I told you about, and she cooked us a super good meal . . . as we watched her daughter's wedding video.  She told us, "When you get off your mission, you come to me and I give you BEAUTIFUL women like that!" 
This week a really cool experience that I had was on exchange with the District Leader.  We were pretty short on time before we had to head to a member dinner so we made our focus talking to everyone that we saw.  The first few people talked to us but were just not that interested and it was kind of awkward.  But we kept going.  The next person we talked to was from South America and spoke Spanish, so I didn't talk at all but it was still cool to watch Elder Blanchard teach the whole restoration, we ended up finding 2 solid people for him to teach in just that short span of time.  There are plenty of days that we don't find a single person so it was way cool to see that happen so quickly.  The Lord blesses us for our efforts!!

I love you all,

Elder Robb