Sunday, July 27, 2014

Week 7 - 7/21/14

¡Hola mi familia! ¿Cómo andan? I hope all is well with everyone at home! I love hearing about all that is happening! These are such exciting times. Things are crazy over here and I have no doubts everyone has all sorts of things going on and that everyone is keeping busy. I´m so happy that Brett and Missy and the Pulleys will be arriving this week!!! Totes jelly but all is well because families are forever and I´ll be back in 16 months.
So my first week in Argentina.. I know y´all are just dying to here the details. My heavens, where do I begin? We arrived in Argentina on Tuesday morning. I really don´t want to think about that plane ride again because it was just too long and you all know how much I hate plane rides. I got here and that´s all the matters :) We drove a good 3 or 4 hours to Rosario and spent the night in the mission home. The Zannis are awesome and I love them so much! I met my trainer, Hna Myler, and she rocks. Also she´s American which I wasn´t expecting. But don´t worry, she only speaks to me in Spanish. Hahaha this is actually her last transfer before she finishes the mission so that means I´ll have two trainers. Lucky me! :) She is great though and I know I´ll learn a lot from her.
My first area is Concepción del Uruguay! Hahah I know what you´re all thinking. But anyways, it´s about four hours from Rosario and it´s awesome. I really love Argentina and I think it´s beautiful. I don´t really have culture shock at all except for the language... they speak s´darn fast here! But I can actually understand a lot and the members told me my accent is really good. I introduced myself in Sacrament meeting yesterday and everyone told me that I speak Castellano muy bien and that my testimony was perfect. And then after church a homless man told me that I had beautiful eyes. So that was nice. Oh, but you should have been there for my first contact! Hahah I mean I´m awkward when I speak English so you can only imagine what I´m like speaking Spanish. I´m not afraid to talk to people, the problem is just when they talk back. Cuz I can´t understand them. But it will come with time and practice, right? :)
Overall I´m doing very well. It´s certainly an adjustment, but lots of prayer gets me through each day. I have a lot of things I need to work on, a lot of things I need to learn, so I just have to be patient and trust in the Lord and in myself. I am so grateful to have the family that I have! All of you are wonderful and I love all of you so much. Thank you for being such amazing examples to me and for being such an amazing support. Something I´m trying to work on is just being happy in the moment rather than always waiting for something. We can be grateful and be happy no matter what our cirumstances are, and we can always know that things will get better and there are better days ahead. I´m grateful that I have my savior to rely on, and an amazing family as well. I love all of you so much! Have a wonderful week!
Love, Hermana Robinson

Week 6 - 7/12/14

We get a little bit of time to email today before we head out on Monday :) This week has gone by so quickly! I am so grateful for the time I've been able to spend here in the MTC. I have the best teachers and I've made friends for life. To be honest, I don't really know what to think about leaving.. I don't really feel all that ready but I think that's pretty normal. :) I'm so excited though because no matter where I am, I always find friends and grow to love the people around me. I didn't really like the MTC all that much at first, but now I love it and it will be hard to leave. I know the same thing will happen once I get to Argentina! I know it will be different than I expect, and I'm sure I'll get hit with culture shock pretty hard, but I feel really peaceful about it all. I'm not scared, just nervous because I don't quite know what to expect. My spanish is ok, I think. Grammar is tough though. I can understand about 95% of everything my teachers say, but they speak really slowly and don't have an accent. Haha so we'll just have to see what happens when I get down there! :) All the investigators and other teachers that I talk to compliment me on how well I speak though... I'm not too worried about the language at this point because I think I'll pick it up pretty fast.

We had in-field orientation yesterday where we did a lot of workshops and stuff and learned how to work with members. It was a lot to take in in just 8 hours, but I left with a lot of great insights and a stronger desire to get out and work! The biggest thing I got out of it was that I can't be afraid of making mistakes. I just have to get out, be myself, and try my best! That's all He asks, really. :) I'll make plenty of mistakes but that's how I'll learn! And besides, they always make for great stories. :)
It's just hard to believe this time is already here! 

We fly out Monday morning at 11am, I think. First to Georgia, then from there to Argentina. We have a four or five hour layover in Atlanta so I will call you then! :) I'm not quite positive what time yet, I have to look at my travel plans. I'll get on again tonight after I talk to my zone and figure it all out (so feel free to email me back before then:) I called Zion's Bank and told them I'd be leaving for Argentina on Monday so everything should be good there. I think that's about it though! Thank you so very much for all the letters and the packages you've sent while I've been here, they never failed to make my day. :) And since I won't be able to get any of those while I'm in Argentina, I made sure to be extra grateful for every single one. I love all of you so much and I am so excited to talk to you on Monday!!! Just think, the next time you speak to me after that I'll probably be fluent and I'll have almost seven months on the mission. Crazy, no? Love you!

Week 5 - 7/8/14 - El Fin!

Can you believe that this is my last week in the MTC? I can't... time is weird here. It's gone by so quickly and now I fly out to Argentina in just 6 days! :) Which means I get to call so get real excited for that! We officially received our travel plans last week and we'll be leaving here at 6:00am on Monday morning. It's weird being the old people at the ccm now... it's fun to have new people come and have them ask us if it gets better and we can give a whole-hearted "YES!" I really love it here now, and it's going to be hard to leave our little bubble. I don't know if I ever told you but we're actually on the West Campus, which means we live in the Wyview apartments and our classes are across the street at the Raintree apartments. It's been a huge blessing because we're outside a lot more and we don't feel so much like we're in a prison. :) It's the Garden of Eden of the MTC.

We also finally got two new districts in our zone! It was just the 8 of us for so long, and it was kinda sad. But we got a district of like 8 six weekers and a district of 10 or so 2 weekers. The native speakers are my favorite hahaha they make everything at least 10 times more fun. Especially volleyball cuz they use their feet more than anything, which is the way I play and now it's totally acceptable! Ha finally people who understand me. :) We also got to clean the Provo temple this morning for our service project and it was so cool. We cleaned all the crystals on the chandeliers and then reassembled them. It's amazing how much peace is there even when you're not performing ordinances. 

I'm really sorry I don't have more interesting things to tell you, but the days all blend together and I can't really remember anything.. but my whole world is about to get turned upside down again so hopefully these emails get a lot more interesting. :) I'm so nervous, and yet so excited! I've already accepted the fact that I won't be able to understand a whole lot and that I'll do a whole bunch of smiling, nodding, and "yo se ques", but my goal is to just be happy and enjoy every second! Even if people won't be able to understand me and I won't be able to say a whole lot, hopefully they'll be able to feel something :) I'm so grateful for the time I've had here in the MTC and for all that I've learned. I can't tell you how much my testimony has grown! I will do my best to share more and do my part to establish Zion in our family. I am so excited for everyone to be together so soon! Even though I'm sad to be missing out on it all, I feel so close to all of you and I can't help but be excited for everyone! I can't wait to hold all these babies someday! :) This is such an amazing time. Please keep sharing your thoughts and dreams, heaven knows how much I need them! The feeling I felt in the temple today was really similar to how I feel when our family is gathered together, sharing the things we're learning and talking about the gospel. I really miss that, so let's not take it for granted. :) Love you all, and wish me luck! :)

Con amor, Hermana Robinson

Week 4 - 7/1/14

Hey there, folks! This is the week of celebrations! I'll be hitting my month mark on Friday, can you believe it? Time is weird here. I'll be celebrating with a few fireworks and I'll also be able to enjoy some Carrie Underwood for the Stadium of Fire. Our apartments are right across from it so it should be a good time. And hey, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the most beautiful, wonderful, most Christlike woman I know! I love you, Mom, and I can't begin to tell you how much I look up to you! And here's a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Crayden, too! Y'all are growing up too fast. :,)

And wow, it sounds like life if just crazy as ever! It's so much fun to hear about what's been going on and how everyone is doing. I can't wait to meet all of these cute babies someday!!! Hahaha hang in there, Shanelle, Kristin, and Rochelle! And wow, I figured Corinne would get married while I was gone I just didn't know it'd be so soon;) Looks like Alyse is next in line! ;) Dad, thank you muchly for the world cup update. I've been waiting to get some of those. I keep asking my teachers about it but they won't tell me anything unless I ask them in Spanish, while we're teaching them as our "investigators". It's rough, but hey, only four more years til the next one...

In other news, we get our travel plans this week! I'm really pumped about it. Also a little nervous, but it's all good. It took me a while to adjust to the MTC, and I know it'll take me a while to adjust to the field, too. But Heavenly Father hasn't let me down yet, so I know it'll all work out! Also, one of the counselors in our branch presidency pulled me aside and told me if they had an award for the most improved Spanish it'd go to me:) Haha I dunno about that, but it's certainly crazy how much I've learned in just one month! My grammar is pretty terrible, but I figure it's normal. And I'll just feel like I'm learning a whole new language once I get to Argentina anyways. I'm already excited to be able to help you out at work someday, Dad! :) Yesterday I carried on a whole conversation for like 15 minutes with one of the teachers here and afterwards I was like... what just happened? Pretty sweet. Oh and I've got a new calling. Online coordinator. Basically I show the new people in our zone how to use the computers. Hahah it's a pretty big deal! Just kiddin, but I'm excited about it oddly enough.

I wish I had something interesting to say, but every day here is pretty much the same. So much happens and yet I can't remember any of it! Something I've been thinking a lot about lately is spiritual gifts. I've been reading my patriarchal blessing a lot and just keep trying to figure out what mine are. I mean, it lists a couple but it's pretty vague in other areas.  I have a whole list of the ones I want, though. :) One I'm really trying hard to develop is Charity. I just want to love others, be patient with others, and see them the way my Savior sees them. It's definitely a process! :) I'm trying to look for opportunities to help others and just make them feel loved. 

I love you all!!! Thank you so much for all the love and support. I love my family! Also, thank you for the Dear Elder! It was the best! Mail is the best so keep it comin. :) I can't believe I'll be leaving for Argentina in just two weeks!

Love, Hermana Robinson

Week 3 - 6/24/14

My heavens, am I halfway done with the MTC already? It really has gone by so fast. And every day we get busier and busier which makes it fly by even faster. So much happens throughout the week, and I wish I had time to write about all of it! It gets better every single week.

On Sunday was the best devotional of my whole entire life for a few reasons. Janice Kapp Perry (the lady that wrote like all the best primary songs-- seriously, think of your top favorites and she wrote all of them) and her husband spoke to us. I don't actually remember a whole lot of what they said, only how I felt. We sang a medley of a bunch of primary songs and the spirit was so strong. Then we sang the Army of Helaman/Sisters in Zion medley and there was not a dry eye in there. It was so so awesome. Plus they were hilarious. She told the story of how they met and I guess they were in a music class together at BYU.  She was about to play her clarinet for the class when he tapped her and said something like "Those lips look like they were made for doing something much more important than playing the clarinet." Hahahah ok so we're all dying laughing and then her husband walks up to the podium and just kisses her real good in front of everyone. Hahah needless too say it was a little too much action for us missionaries, everyone was going crazy. Definitely a devotional to remember.

This morning we went to the temple again and this time all I could think about it everyone's potential as a son and daughter of God. We can literally become Gods and Goddesses. HOW COOL IS THAT? Then this afternoon Elder D. Todd Christofferson spoke at our devotional about this exact thing. He told us that before we can help someone else recognize their potential, we must first know our own. When we truly believe that, we act in a way that reflects that knowledge. We try harder to do the things that Christ would do and we're constantly repenting, trying to improve and become the best we can possibly be. When we know that everyone has the same potential, how can you not love them?? I'm still working on that. He also said that we need to pray to develop charity because it's a spiritual gift. When we truly love other people, they will be able to feel Christ's love for them through us. I hope people will be able to feel His love for them through me.

We also got to meet with our mission presidents again last night! They are the cutest people ever. It's really is something special that we all get to start this mission together. Not everybody gets the chance to meet their mission presidents while they're in the MTC, and I like to think we have a special bond;)

I love all of you so much! I wish I had time to write all of you individually, so just know that I am so so grateful for all of your love and support. I have the best family ever!! I say it every single week but it's the truth. Oh, and one other quick thought. In relief society on Sunday, one of the speakers said something along the lines of "Those seeking for Zion must first learn its principles through a wilderness experience." It reminded me of our family because we're always talking about that. :) Love you all! SO much!!!

Love, Hna. Robinson


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Week 2

My dear family,

I can't believe it's already pday again! Everyone says that after the first two weeks time starts flying, so I'm looking forward to that! I still have so much to learn before I head out though. Mom, I'm sorry if you almost had a heart attack when the MTC clinic called you yesterday. Hahaha good news is my retainer is all fixed and they did it for free! #tendermerciesallaround I'm just glad it broke while I was here and not in Argentina. And to be honest, it was nice to get out of the MTC bubble for a little while cuz it was a nice reminder that we won't be here for our whole lives. :) Even though I love it and the people so much, sitting in a classroom for 7-10 hours a day gets old pretty fast!

I have learned so much in the past two weeks. About myself, the gospel, Spanish, and my Savior. The thing about the mission is that it really forces you to rely on the Savior. Although I don't like word "forces" because it truly is a joy. It is so humbling and yet so empowering. I thought I relied on Him before I came here, but my eyes have just begun to see just how powerful He truly is. There is no way I should be able to do the things that I'm doing, and I know it is because of Him. He is truly looking out for me. Every time I start to get a little down, or overwhelmed, or homesick, I receive some kind of reassurance and I receive strength to keep on keepin on. We've had a lot of great speakers come to the devotionals and every time it feels like they're speaking just to me. And I guess the spirit is speaking just to me, because what I hear is not always something the speaker said. Sheri Dew spoke to us on Sunday about the grace of God and how much the truly encompasses. It has given me so much hope and so much strength that my Savior, through His Atonement, really can do anything and everything. He can help us with our feelings of inadequacy, He can help me learn Spanish, and He can help me feel whole even when a huge part of me (my family) is missing. I can feel your love and your prayers with me at all times, and honestly I've never felt closer to you all than I do right now. It is a wonderful feeling, and I feel so blessed to know that I get to be with you guys FOREVER! Y'all are stuck with me!!! #sorrynotsorry. :) We went to the temple this morning and it was wonderful just to be reminded of the simple truth that families can be together forever.

Also, my favorite part of PME is the Christlike attributes, specifically HOPE. I don't know why, but I especially love that one. And really, all of them are connected. When we become better in one area, we improve in all other areas as well. I love where it says that hope is manifest in "confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance." I don't know if that's the exact quote, but that's the jist of it. I especially love the last part. Patient perseverance. Sometimes it's hard not to feel like I'll be in the CCM my whole life (I really do love it, I promise!:), and sometimes it's hard to believe that I'll ever learn to speak Spanish fluently. I just have to remember to be patient with myself, and put in my share of the work. It truly is possible to be happy no matter what our circumstances are, and that we can do good no matter where we are. I keep jumping ahead and thinking, "I can't wait until I'm out of the CCM!" Or, "I can't wait until I can speak Spanish fluently!" but I keep reminding myself that I need to enjoy each and every moment of this journey. There are people who need us exactly as we are in those moments, even though sometimes I feel like I could never make a difference. I don't know if that makes sense, but there ya go. :) I love all of you so much! Thank you so much for the letters and the emails, but most of all for you love and support! I have the best family ever!!! :) Have the most wonderful week! Just try to not have too much fun without me ;)

Con amor, Hermana Robinson

We met our mission presidents on Sunday! They will get to Argentina two weeks before us. They're here learning english right now, so we had a good time talking in Spanglish. They are the cutest people ever! I have a feeling they'll take good care of us. I asked Sister Zanni how many children she has (in spanish, btw) and she said "Seven, but in July we will have 250!" I already love them :)

Week 1

Ok, so basically the first couple days at the CCM were the most stressful days of my life. But now that I'm finally adjusting to everything, it's a lot better and I'm loving it more and more every day. :) I was crazy overwhelmed when the branch presidency gave us a whole list of things to do in addition to everything else, because there is no way I will be able to accomplish all of it. I was stressing out about it until I realized that the only person I need to please is Heavenly Father. He knows what I'm capable of, he knows my heart, and that's all that matters. I'll do my best to do all of it, but if it doesn't happen, I'm not going to beat myself up about it. It's just a matter of seeking his guidance each day to know how I should spend my time. The days seem like weeks, but the weeks fly by. And everyone says after your first week it starts going by even faster, so I'm excited about that. :) My district is just four Hermanas, all of us going to Argentina. Hermana Hill is going to Neuquen and Hermanas Briggs (my companion) y Fry are coming to Rosario with me. As far as I know, there are seven of us heading to Rosario. So don't worry mom, I have plenty of travel buddies! :)

Our zone is the best though. We're the only Hermanas in it, but all the Elders are pretty cool. All of us get along really well and we're laughing all the time. I think my district is the only one that knew a little Spanish before we got here, so we pretty much know just as much as the Elders who are leaving next week haha. Seriously though, it's crazy how much Spanish I'm able to remember, especially when we're teaching. I hear a word once or twice and I remember it. It's the coolest.

We watched a devotional by Elder Bednar on Sunday called the Characteristics of Christ (I think?). It was really good and pretty much I walked out of there feeling like I got chastised for a whole hour and a half but I loved it. He talked about how instead of turning inward, we need to turn outward the way Christ does. I am so excited for the next 18 months, and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to simply focus on the gospel. I want to take advantage of every moment because time is moving faster than ever before! I have so much to learn, and I can't wait! I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior and I hope as I become closer to them that I will be able to help others do the same.

I love all of you!!! Thank you so much for your love and support. Even though I'm not with all of you, I feel closer to you now than I ever have before!

Con amor, Hermana Robinson