Dearest Family and Friends,
Oh the joys that come from the chance to serve the Savior full-time. So much happens each week it's hard to remember the details, but just knowing that I am making progress and helping others to make progress towards their Savior is comforting. So we successfully got rid of the bed bugs and I still came away with no bites. We went back to Jackie's yesterday and found MORE bedbugs crawling on her couch. So we slyly and politely killed them while she was talking. Her kind of pretty couch is now covered in the black spots and streaks that the little buggers leave. She has had many neighbors and family members question her decision to become a Mormon. But she said the more she prays about it, the more she feels this is the direction the Lord is leading her, so it's amazing to see how her faith is being strengthened.
I went on exchanges in Dover for the third week in a row on Wednesday, this time was with Elder Tolbert from our district. He is black and he's from right outside Atlanta Georgia. Loves deep fried food and he is just awesome. We had some good conversations and just a good exchange. After giving away 3 copies of the Book of Mormon to these fairly humble, slightly drunk women, we encountered another black man, lighter than Elder Tolbert. The man right off started asking why a black person like Elder Tolbert would be a Mormon if the Book of Mormon says God cursed the Lamanites with dark skin. yadada. All he wanted to do was bash. The Bible this, Bible that. We tried to testify simply and powerfully several times, to no avail. He would just spout off, well how do you know that. We ended up walking away flustered and slightly angry that our simple testimonies weren't able to "confound the wise" but the Lord moves in mysterious ways.
We bought new pillows that night as a caution for the bedbugs. I think I can sleep a little tighter now. Ashley and Ryan (Ryan we miraculously met last week after not having met missionaries for close to a year) took us to a nice Hibachi grill in Dover a day after we helped them moved from a trailer park to her mom's house (temporarily). The real miracle was that in the car ride home, we got Ryan talking about religion and how he doesn't feel like the church they've been going to is the right one for them. We told both of them that this would bless them and their two little boys more than anything else in the world. So we are hoping and praying that their hearts will continue to be softened to the message of the gospel.
Interesting tidbit about Smyrna or this area, we actually have Menenite colonies, I guess you would say, that live in Clayton, Dover, and parts of Maryland, still in our area. So it's not just up in PA like I had originally thought. Elder Brayden Prestwich serving in this mission wrote an article in this month's New Era on missionary work and technology, should have a picture of a tablet on it.
The other night, we met with one of our truly amazing members, Sister Guessford, at Will and Morgan's house. The first half hour of the lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ was just a train wreck. Will was in and out of the house smoking. Friends and family were all over the house, people were eating and making food and noise. Morgan was sitting across from me at the table looking half dead of boredom as we went over repentance. It was a small nightmare. I said a quick prayer that Will would pay attention and that the Spirit would help us.
An amazing thing happened. Not more than 3 minutes later, Will sat down we read 2 Nep 31 and he got up to get a highlighter bc he liked one of the verses so much. Sister Guessford shared her miraculous story of conversion and the Spirit just settled in the room. A feeling of peace came and Will's wife Pam joined us (and she never does) and Sister Guessford talked to her about forgiving her father and the peace that can come. I still don't know how it all happened, and Will can't get baptized for a while because of legal issues. But I promised him that if he moved forward with faith, the Lord would provide a way. He is a God of Miracles. That's for sure.
Another man we found in a trailer park in Townsend, north of Smyrna, literally got out of prison a few weeks ago. So like fresh out of prison. And he has a very humble demeanor which we are hoping will last and bring him to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I found myself loving him a whole lot more than judging him. I saw him more through the lens of Christ, as what he has the potential to become. Zack told us he would have trouble giving up weed in order to get baptized. He argued that God told us in the Bible that we can use all the plants and herbs of the earth. And he says he feels closer to God when he's smoking it. I don't know what weed's like. Don't need to. But I do know that it is not men who sets the commandments. It is God who gives us the commandments. Weed may seem beneficial in the moment and even healthy, but let's be real. Who do we trust. God or some high up doctors.(not to bash doctors)? Doctors right? We told him we would help him increase faith in God, we don't know the reasons for all things, but God does. So let us exercise faith in Him.
I missed Sacrament meeting two weeks in a row because of Stake and General Conference. Makes you grateful for the strength that comes from taking the Sacrament each week. I opened up to Moroni 9:25 this Sunday and I was impressed with the wording in the verse. "Be faithful in Christ...may Christ lift the up...and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever." Why are we here on earth? We want to return to God, eternal life. I want such thoughts to always be on my mind. Love you all. Have a wonderful week.
Elder Jacob Robins
|Legislative Hall @ night(Dover State Capitol)|
|Taking pictures at zone training. I don't think we had enough cameras|
|Senility Prayer @ a member's house- so funny|