Hi Friends and Family!
I've had a great week and love all the emails and letters of support and I know we are blessed to live in this day and age with such communication technology. We had a fun little trunk or treat in the church parking lot on Saturday from 7-9pm. It was rather late...in fact, I think several little kids went home sleeping zombies. We didn't really dress up, but I put this weird alligator toy in my pocket so people couldn't say I didn't have a costume on. It was a fun little get together.
Last night, Elder Rabe and I joined the youth at BYD at Bishop Deutsch's request. We did a few activities where the youth acted out how they would handle encounters with church related questions. The theme was "Hastening the Work of Salvation" which is really just inspired in general. WE aren't just bringing people the chance to have this joy and happiness, but we are rekindling the fires of those who once had it already. Bishop told the youth that the Smyrna ward is currently at 28% weekly attendance, with nearly 450 people on the roster. I'm sure every ward has it's struggles, but that just seems a little daunting. So we and the youth and leaders will be visiting people on the list who's names we don't know. This ward is like a big metal ball at the top of a free fall ride. Tons of potential energy there, we just need to release the doubts and gates and turn it all into kinetic energy. (thank you high school physics for teaching me intelligent sounding vocabulary-ha).
I know this is chronologically way out of order, but Wednesday we knocked on a former potential investigator's door. She answered and after a minute we learned that she plays the organ for her church. I perked up immediately and told her I play too and that we need another organist for our congregation. We then gave her a Book of Mormon and she seemed more than willing to read and pray about it. Our apartment has a little dinker organ...why a missionary apt has an organ?...I'll never know. But nonetheless (I've started speaking in scripture terminology) I love having a little something to toink around on. Pedal board doesn't work, but I like it for the buttons. Such a tactile person.
Saturday was just off. It felt like we were driving and knocking doors for hours on end. So I was praying that we would be put in the path of someone who needed the gospel. As we were getting back in the car after the thousandth visit of the day, I saw a young man, about 16 walking past across the street. It felt like the Spirit almost dragged me across the street to this young man, then before I knew it I opened my mouth and asked, "Do you ever wonder why we're here on earth?" "Yes!" He replied. I continued explaining and asking as guided by the Spirit and set up an appt to meet with him this week. The miracles that God can do through us if we but open our mouths or simply ACT!
We have had trouble getting investigators to get to church. Zack keeps saying he will come, but since he's gotten this new job, he's always tired bc of the night shift hours. Antonio told us yesterday that he has been reading the Book of Mormon with his son. Elder Rabe and I noticed a dramatic change in his countenance since the first time we met with him. The light of Christ and the gospel is filling his life. It's such a miracle to see.
I want to gain charity more than almost anything. I just want to be filled with that pure love. Moroni explains "Charity suffereth long, and is kind...rejoiceth in truth...Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever."(Moroni 7:45-47). I can be so sarcastic and rude, and have always wanted to change, but never really knew how I guess. Yesterday, the theme at church and for the day was charity, and compassion and the pure love of Christ. Stories were told that pierced me to the core. Gah I can't describe how wonderful it felt. I'm not a whole lot more charitable or loving today than I was yesterday, but just like conversion it's a daily process. So what are we doing each day to have that charity, that pure love that changes hearts?
Love you all, help someone else feel loved today,
Elder Jake Robins
|Caterpillar I caught cause it looked cool. I didn't know they actually eat leaves, but it did. (thank you disney movies)|
|The ward trunk or treat, inside part, i noticed I'm not good about taking pics of myself..sorry!|
|Just the opposite of what the world needs to hear, but hey. Kinda funny|