Monday, February 17, 2014

Jake's Update

Dear Family and Friends,

What a wonderful week it's been. Crazy weather, new technology, and a
wonderful Spirit, blessings from above that "denote that there is a God." I made the mistake, no not the mistake but I guess the decision to pray for patience, because I'm so patient I just decided I wanted a little more...umm nope, that's a lie. But patience is something I think most of us
could use more of. Anyways, I prayed for it, and boy did I get it. We were told Wednesday that our Thursday Zone Conference would be moved toSaturday. Normally I'd be like, oh whoop dee doo. But we knew we were getting our new mobile devices. So just like little tykes at Christmas we were a little impatient to receive these new devices. And Thursday came around, and it hit starting with heavy ice then turning into wet snow. We found out that this was a very unusual storm called a nor'easter from Canada and a storm from Atlanta met in the De PA MD area. 8 inches that night then the next day was slush that froze soon after. Needless to say, my patience was tested, but we got through it. 
We taught our investigator Megan on Saturday night and we had taught her about the Restoration last week but she has a catholic past, but has since become agnostic. We focused just on God as our loving Heavenly Father and tried to help her feel the Spirit testifying of God's love for her. We committed her to pray to know if God really does exist. E. Allred said "now don't get off your knees until you get an answer. Well come Sunday morning at church, we asked how it went. She broke down in tears as she told us that she had been on her knees the night before for 2 hours straight then she fell asleep frustrated and emotional. She woke up every little while and would pray again, still with no apparent answer. We were heartbroken at her description of her night after we left. So we told her we'd meet with her after church. 

Michael (her member bf), Megan and us walked into a small primary room shortly after the end of the block. We shared some scriptures, thoughts and experiences with her as well as testifying of how prayers are answered. It's tough when we don't understand why God waits to answer our prayers or why He answers them in a specific way, but if we trust in Him all things will work out for our good. 

Then we asked Michael to offer the closing prayer. This was a most sacred experience which testified powerfully of Heavenly Father's plan for us. "Heavenly Father..." And then he continued. He said no more than a sentence, but there was much contemplating, many tears, and an incredible Spirit that kept us all speechless as he expressed our desires that her prayers be answered. I can't fully express this experience, but I am forever grateful for it in making my time here in Smyrna something to love and remember. 

Saturday was a very long Zone Conference and they insured us that we were not here to receive iPads, but that through these devices it is hoped and expected that we will better fulfill our purpose as missionaries, bringing souls unto Christ. So every missionary in the mission received an iPad mini and in the different conferences were trained on them. The iPads are pretty restricted, the mission president gets an email if we try to go onto an unauthorized website or download an app that didn't come preloaded. It is truly a blessing to have this device. We are told not to use paper planners anymore and the hope is that all the area book records etc will be digitalized within a few transfers. We can skype and FaceTime people outside of the mission to teach them, including non member friends back home, with permission. 

I know that The Lord is hastening His work "I will hasten my work in it's time." D&C 88:73 This is part of that prophecy. We have been entrusted to find and teach His lost sheep and bring them back to the fold. I apologize in advance for the fonts and jumbled manner of the email...still trying figure it all out. Haha well I love you all. Seek opportunities to help others and I promise your own struggles and pains will be "swallowed up in the joy of Christ."


Elder Robins 

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