Happy Birthday America!

10:08 PM Samantha Warstler 0 Comments

June 21st, 2016
Wowie, another good week! I have great news! Sister Phillips and I did NOT receive a transfer call, so we will be staying together for another 6 weeks! Hopefully longer. We'll see what's the lord has in store for us. :)

In this letter, I really feel compelled to talk about God's love for his children and the importance of our relationship with him. This idea sparked when Sister Van Vleet was telling me a story about this "creepy stalker guy" who lives in her apartment complex. She told me with disgust that recently he hopped onto an elevator with her and her companion and told them they were "super hot!" She exclaimed, "I am not a temperature! I am beautiful! I am a daughter of God!" Of course, we were all laughing at the time, but I thought it was wonderful! If more people recognized their worth, this world would be a much happier place.

I remember one of my favourite years at EFY when I came to realize how much God truly cares for us. I was listening to a speaker give a talk he titled "The Cost." I know I won't be able to convey his message as powerfully as he did, but I'll do my best. He talked about how everything in this world has a cost. Literally everything, whether the cost is money, work or time. Nothing in this life comes free... Including us! Our lives and our happiness was all paid for by God's only begotten son. Jesus Christ paid that cost when he suffered for us
in the Garden of Gethsemane and then died on the cross. Can you even try to wrap your mind around that? We are of infinite worth! God values us so much that he let his perfect, sinless son endure such awful pain and torment for us so that we will have the opportunity to live again with Him.





This week, we were visiting with a less active member named Katie, and we shared one of my favourite Mormon Message Videos with her called "Our True Identity." Afterwards, we asked her if she has always seen herself as a daughter of God. She thought about it for a bit and expressed to us that this is something she has always struggled with. She explained that it is especially hard when she isn't going to church, saying her prayers or reading her scriptures; however, when she does do those small and simple things, her perspective changes. 




I found it interesting that although she recognizes how much happier she is when she turns to the Lord more frequently in her life, it is still hard for her to stay motivated to do so. I think that is very common for all of us! We all know that we'll be happier if we pray more and read more and go to church every week, but sometimes, we just don'tIt's like working out! We all know we'll be in much better shape if we just work out for a half an hour each day, but for some reason, we don't always do that. I would really like to find out what it is that keeps people motivated to do the little things that bring them closer to God.

I guess the whole message I am trying to convey this week is that God truly is our father, and He loves us so much! It's amazing how much my perspective changes when I am able to remember that everyone we see is
literally our brother or sister. It helps me to have a greater desire to approach random people on the street and talk to them about Jesus Christ. When I realize that God loves all of His children equally and that he desires for all of us to return to live with him after this life, it gives me the motivation I need to get up each morning and do this seemingly impossible work.

{Gord and Mary Lou got sealed in the temple on Saturday! Gord is the big guy in the middle, and Mary Lou is standing in front of him.}

And if any of you ever forget your worth, just remember this: God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

Well thanks to all of you who read all the way to the end. You're the good ones. Hope you feel inspired. I love and miss you all! Now go and make this week a good one!

Much love,
Sister Robinson

President Thomas S. Monson: “God our Father has ears with which to hear our prayers. He has eyes with which to see our actions. He has a mouth with which to speak to us. He has a heart with which to feel compassion and love. He is real. He is living. We are his children made in his image. We look like him and he looks like us” (“I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” Apr. 1988, 6; Ensign, Apr. 1990).




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July 5th, 2016
Good afternoon, my friends!

So first off, Happy Canada Day to the Canadians and Happy 4th of July to the Americans! We celebrated Canada Day by volunteering at a festival in the city! We were working in the petting zoo. So basically, we spent 3 long hours handling little bunnies and watching like a hawk while little kids held them, all the while making sure no bunnies were strangled to death. It was the most hectic 3 hours of the whole day! Holy moly. Let's just say I'm very grateful I don't have claustrophobia.


{Canada Day! We volunteered at the mill woods park and passed around some bunnies at a petting zoo! Oh and we did not get the memo that we would have to wear T-shirts...}

Also, I didn't hear or see a single firework. In fact, I haven't heard or seen a single firework in two years! Turns out, Canadians don't go quite as crazy as we Americans do on their country's birthday. But on the 4th of July, we did attempt to wear red, white and blue... Or uh... Pink white and blue anyway. This is as close as we got... It was a great day though. We were able to stay focused on the Lord's work!

Speaking of which, allow me to share with you some of the wonderful miracles that are happening here in Lakewood. :) :) :)

We have a wonderful investigator named Pam! We have been teaching her for about a month now, and she lives in a member's basement, which is really convenient. :) She is hilarious, first off! I can't even try to explain her. She basically has the personality of a 13 year old girl in a 32 year old's body. So she's a lot of fun. She came to church for the first time on Sunday! It was glorious! It has been too long since I've had an investigator come to church! A lot of people we teach are very uncommitted and flaky. Everyone was so welcoming to Pam though! She has actually been praying about a date to get baptized too! She told us about some very cool dreams and experiences she had where the spirit told her that she needs to get baptized. It's amazing how the Lord helps people progress who are ready for the gospel!

This week, we also got a new investigator named Mary, and in our very first meeting with her she told us that she's been wanting to get baptized! It was wonderful! She said, "So I've never been baptized, and my kids haven't either. Is there any way you could help us set that up?" I was shocked! It's so rare for people to ask US if THEY can be baptized! We tried to stay composed as we told her the steps she would need to take to prepare. It was so exciting! I can't wait to see where this goes. :) Baptism is the first stepping stone to everlasting joy!

So as you can tell, wonderful, wonderful things are happening in this area. We are so happy! The Lord is definitely blessing us for our obedience and dedication.

{Getting those pearly whites cleaned! A very nice member cleaned our teeth for free! :) }

Another exciting thing that happened this week was we got a new mission president! We had a meeting with him and his wife on Saturday where they gave very powerful talks. It was so cool, because the morning of, a struggling sister called us and told us that she is thinking about going home early. She was crying and kept saying "I don't think I can handle anymore stress. This is too much". My heart broke as she told us about how she feels like nothing she does is good enough, and that it would make no difference if she went home, because she isn't accomplishing anything out here anyway. The only advice I could think to give her was to pray that president Pattison would say something to help her know what to do in our meeting that day. And let me tell you... It. Was. Perfect.

He told his conversion story and spoke very fondly of the missionaries that taught and baptized him. He really focused on the ripple effect as he told the story. It was really inspiring. So he got baptized when we was 21 and went on to serve a mission just a year later, he then married in the temple and raised 5 beautiful children in the gospel, most of them served missions and married in the temple as well, fast forward to just 6 months ago when he received a phone call from an apostle telling him that the Lord had called him to serve as a mission president! He invited the two men who taught and baptized him to his setting apart, and he said it was an amazingly spiritual experience to have an apostle of God place his hands on his head to give him a blessing.

But as amazing as all of that is, you know what's crazy? The two missionaries who first met him have no idea of the effect they had on his life! That's right. The missionaries who taught and baptized him would never have been able to find him if it weren't for another set of missionaries who went out of their way to talk to him and ask him if he wanted to learn more about Jesus Christ! So the moral of this story is... You have no idea the good you can do!

I really really hope and pray that the sister who called us that morning found comfort in President Pattison's words. He is definitely an inspired man, and I am excited to learn more and more from him!

Thank you to all of you, who I love so dearly! You all mean so much to me!

Love,
Sister Robinson


Sister Virginia U. Jensen:The cause of Christ—to redeem all souls—needs your strength, time, and talents in your homes and in your communities. Your faithful works and words contribute significantly to the building of this, the kingdom of God on the earth... We have ripples to make and water to share. Given our eternal heritage, we must remember how powerfully our simple, righteous actions can ripple through the hearts and homes of those around us. We have such a great opportunity to do so much good.” ("Ripples," Oct. 2000, General Conference) 



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July 13th, 2016
I have some good book recommendations for you! 

The Inevitable Apostasy by Tad R McCallister 
The Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball
The Articles of Faith by James E Talmadge
The Lost Language of Symbolism by Alonzo L Gaskill
The Truth About Eden by Gaskill
Sacred Symbols by Gaskill
Understanding Isaiah by Perters
Zeezrom Syndrome
Orson F. Whitney by Dennis B. Horne
A Marvelous Work and a Wonder by LeGrand Richards
Belonging to Heaven by Gale Sears
The Fourth Watch by S Michael Wilcox
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Women and the Priesthood by Sherri Dew
A Reason For Faith by Laura Harris Hales

Those are all the book recommendations I have accumulated on my mission. Some of them aren't about the gospel, but they all seem really really good. :)



Things are going really well up here! We are struggling to help our investigators progress, but we are working so so so hard and trusting that the Lord will provide the rest. 

Man, I gotta be honest. My heart is just heavy today. We met this homeless woman last night at one of our investigators house. She said that night was the first in 6 weeks that she slept in a bed. We have no idea how blessed and privileged we are. This woman was 6 months pregnant and sleeping behind dumpsters and in dark alleys! She has no one to help and support her now, because our investigators who she stayed with last night is moving tomorrow! She is so so so alone. It was definitely meant to be that we met her though! We are going to try really hard to help her, and hope that the Lord will do the rest.

She did not look pregnant. The only way I could tell was because I could see her baby doing somersaults in her stomach! It was so sad. :( that's been weighing down on me today. But we were able to talk to her about Christ and she cried and it really seemed to give her hope. So that's a miracle just waiting to happen. Right? 


So much has happened these past few weeks, and I don't even know where to begin! Haha!

Well we have been teaching a lot. Like 15 lessons a week, so that's been really good! There are a lot of less active members in the ward. It's crazy how many there are actually. But we have been seeing some miracles with them! It is so great to be able to see the fruits of our labours. Yesterday, we watched President Uchtdorf's general conference talk titled, "Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth" with a less active member named Katie, and it really touched her! She has come to the realization that she needs to immerse herself in the gospel in order to receive a true testimony. Now it is up to her to actually make that decision. We are hoping and praying that she will.




Other than that, we have a lot of new investigators that have potential and others who just aren't progressing right now. It's hard, because we are putting in so much effort, but are seeing minimal results. We've really been relying on the Lord through prayer right now. It seems like that's all that's left to do. So we will continue to pray that the lord will put someone in our paths who is truly prepared.

{Selfies with some of the other sisters in the district}

Serving a mission really has helped me appreciate all that you have done for me, because we see so many broken families or messed up parents. But you are the best! Thanks for always having my back. :) I love you!

Love,

Abbie

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