Monday, May 30, 2016

Week 48


This past week was great! M was baptized! We were worried there wouldn't be a real big turnout with it being a holiday weekend and everything, but the house was packed! She had a lot of family and friends fly in from Utah and California, and a lot of people just from the Seattle area. They all told us that they never expected that she would be baptized. It was pretty sweet.

Other than that it was just the same old stuff, we met a cool former investigator named S. He took us for a joyride in his Subaru STI. We got some good service in at the thrift shop.

I didn't get any pictures from the baptism, we'll have to grab a pic with M one of these days so I can send it home. Life's good, the mission's fun! I love you all!

Elder Robb

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Week 47


Sorry I didn't write yesterday! I'm sure you have all been waiting anxiously for my update :) We had our P-day moved to today because we went to the temple this morning, what an awesome experience! Afterwards we went to Triple-X burger where I ate the biggest burger of my life.
Anyways, serving on Mercer Island brought a great opportunity for us this past Monday, we had FHE at President's house with all of the young couples in the ward! It was pretty awesome, we talked about member-missionary work (surprise) and had a ton of chocolate cake. We'll probably make this a regular thing and do it every transfer.

Elder Anderson got a new calling as a district leader, I can't remember if I mentioned that last week or not. But we went to the mission office Thursday for a district leader conference where we all got trained. It was good, the highlight was all the Costco pizza afterwards! We impressed everyone by eating 8 slices, each! That's unity right there! We are the dream eat team.

M got her baptismal interview this week and we're good to go! Just a couple minor details with the program and such for this Saturday and we'll be set! Her son-in-law is in the mission presidency in California and he's going to do the baptism. She has a friend who's a professional gospel singer whose going to sing for us, and the primary is coming to sing "I am a child of God". It's going to be a sweet program!!

We had a great district meeting yesterday, the topic was "forget yourself and go to work". One of those training's I've had a hundred times and get's pretty repetitive. It's like the feeling i had when i was about to graduate primary and all the lessons were just the same old boring stuff, but Elder Anderson is a really good trainer and this one was actually pretty insightful. He used a scripture in James chapter 1:

"22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was."

You don't look in a mirror and then forget yourself and walk away from all that. That's not at all what God asks any of us to do. He asks us to let him mold who we already are into something even better. God didn't send me to Seattle to lose myself and become a robot, he sent me here to refine me and to use me, the person I already am, to help others. And that's how it is for all of us, God will use us as an instrument in his hands if we just let him. Anyways, I could rant on this forever, but I love you all. Have a good week!

Elder Robb

Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 46

Hey everyone!

This week was pretty great. The highlight was that I got a lacrosse stick from the thrift shop for 77 cents! Lacrosse is huge on the island. Every once in a while we will run to the field for morning workouts and play 1-on-1 lacrosse.

Okay, well the real highlight of the week was some great news we got from P. He told us that his mom is going to come up from Peru in July to visit him, and that she wants to see him get baptized while he's here! It seems like his Grandma has warmed up to it enough, and his mom is pretty interested in the gospel herself. We were so stoked when he told us.

Wednesday night we started the run club! We only had one member show up, but that's OK! You've got to start somewhere! This week we did a better job publicizing it and got more commitments. Knocking doors on the island has been mentally tedious and unfruitful, so this is our bright shining hope for missionary work here. We ended up running about 5 miles total including the run there and back. We invite people of all physical ability to join us though! Get active Mercer Island! Let's go!!

This week I was reading in Alma 41 when I found this gem: "Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again."

Alma's talking to his son Corianton, who hasn't been the most observant of God's commandments. What really hit me in this verse is that he's not just going to repent and then go back to what he was doing before. He's invited by his dad to repent and change his nature. I've been thinking about overcoming sin and what it takes to do so, and I've found that it's usually not enough to just focus on not sinning, but you have to focus on doing to opposite. Doing good. This morning I read Romans 12:21: "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." You can't just throw up your shield against it, you have to fight it to beat it.

I love you all a ton!
Elder Robb

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 45

Hey everyone!

This week was pretty good! Nothing out of the ordinary to report. It was great to see the fam (minus Becca) yesterday for a Mother's Day Skype session :)

This week we had a decent amount of meetings. We had a fun last district meeting, we played "hide and teach" at the church building. Finding truly is the hardest part, in missionary work and in this game haha. Later in the afternoon we taught Piero, I don't know if I’ve talked much about our lessons with him much in the past weeks, but they've been going really well. He loves watching Mormon messages with us. (Here’s one we watched this week, from one of my favorite talks! )

V's progressing really well, we had a great lesson about baptism and she's going to pray about it. M is pretty much ready for her baptism also, we just finished teaching her the gospel of Christ lesson. She makes some dang good lemonade for us every time we come over!

Also this week, we had McDonald’s for dinner two nights in a row (and not a small serving) and we still weigh the same as we did last week! It's good to be young!

I'm continuing my trek through Alma, there is a ton of doctrine in this book! I think if this was the only book in the Book of Mormon that we had, it would be enough, but anyways... In chapter 37, i love these verses:

"44 For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land.

 45 And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.

 46 O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever."

I've been thinking a lot this transfer about God's commandments and the way that he works, and what his purpose even is. His purpose is to help us progress, and he wants us to be happy as we progress. And he hasn't made it as hard as we sometimes make it out to be. Sometimes, God's way isn't "let's see the hardest way we can do this", it's actually the easy way, and that's why so many people miss the boat. Mosiah 2:41 says that we can have happiness here and now, and then live in never ending happiness after this life! Life is good! Sometimes i realize how good life is and feel bad that i ever complained about anything in my life.

Love you all!
Elder Robb

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 44

Hey all!

This week started with a flat tire for me.  We took my bike to Dan the bike man, he fixes up bikes for missionaries pretty cheap! (That reminds me, I still have to go back and pay him. . . ) He looked at my bike and said, "If you keep riding this thing, you're going to meet your Mormon God real quick!!"  I guess there was some other stuff wrong with it too.  It rode much easier after he fixed me up.  The very next day, we were right back in his garage fixing a flat for Elder Anderson.  An unlucky week for us!!

Thursday night we had a Jewish Mormon event at our church building called B'nai Shalom.  They did lots of Jewish culture stuff that was pretty neat.  We only stayed for the dinner because we had a lesson to go to.  After our lesson, we went and watched W's baseball game.  He's a 14 year old kid we stop by and see sometimes.  His mom loves us and the church because her other son got baptized a while ago and the church really helped him.  It was fun to watch him play ball, makes me reminisce my little league days!  All the baseball moms were really cool with us, sometimes it's better to get out in the community than it is to pound on doors.

Yesterday Bishop drove us to Emmanuel Episcopal church on the island, where we helped serve food to disabled people here on the island!  It was a lot of fun and they sent us home with a ton of mac and cheese.  Funny how it's just tradition to send loads of food home with us missionaries.  This week we also started preparing for an English second language class that we'll be teaching every Tuesday.  Should be good!

This week I was reading in Alma and I found a couple of verses that talk about joy.
27:18 "Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness."
29:10 "And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hat heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me."

True joy comes to people who feel like they want to improve and change, and then act on that desire.  Verse 10 is used a lot in missionary terms, and it is really cool to see people change and become converted to the gospel "from scratch" so to speak, but I've been thinking about the motivation that I feel every time I go to church and see people who recognize their shortcomings and strive to be better.  That's what this church is here for, it's not for the perfect people, it's to help people become better.  Anyways, that's why I love the church, because it's helped me feel motivation to improve.

Have a good week!
Elder Robb