Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Because of Him

Happy Easter and Happy Spring Family & Friends!

We had quite an awesome week here in Atlantic City. I was bummed to
say goodbye to Elder Facuri last week, but The Lord needed him
elsewhere. The day of transfers, President Perez (Branch President)
picked us up and drove us the hour and a half to the mission office.
It was lightly drizzling on the way there, kind of like the mists of
darkness. It's cool, sometimes it's pretty foggy in AC and it'll make
the tall casinos look like they're floating in the fog...aka "great
and spacious buildings"...oh wait, Lehi's dream was real. Probably saw
AC 2600 years in the future. Ha.anyways....

I get so nervous for transfers, don't know why, guess it's just my
personality. But once it's over I'm fine. President told me before
transfers started that he was sending me a strong, hard working Elder
so that we can really work this area, which was reassuring. So my new
companion is....Elder Seeley!!! He's from Cedar Hills, UT. He's a good
kid, hard working. He's got an older and younger sister and good
parents. ..funny story I replaced him in Smyrna and he replaced me in
Wilmington..so we've got some things in common. We had a bomb week
this past week and I felt like a lot of prayers regarding the area
were answered through miracles we witnessed.

With our 3 Burmese families, we're getting to the point where we don't
really know how to keep them progressing in the gospel. I mean, we are
going day by day step by step with these families. This is kind of an
unprecedented adventure here. How do you gain a testimony of the a
Book of Mormon when you can't even read it because it's not translated
into your language yet? It's a challenge and I don't know what we'd do
without the Dun's (Burmese member couple) up in Cherry Hill. I trust
in the Lord's will, and where there's a Will, there's a way. We love
them though. Such good hearts and such good people. Book of Mormon
Stories is good though because it gives them more of a visual. More
next week on our Burmesians!

We spent a good amount of time walking and contacting and just getting
to know each other. I love the first week or transfers because it's
new it's a change. Routine is the enemy to revelation! Which we saw
this week. Elder Seeley had a few ideas that led us to find new
investigators or just a different perspective on the area is good.
Nevertheless, we can see the miracles and hand of God manifest in our
lives if we have the willingness and choose to be obedient.

Miracle #1
Because I'd only been in the area a transfer before taking over the
area, we decided to try by a bunch of people whom I had not yet met.
One such was at the very north end of the AC island( ps, did I mention
that the Monopoly game board is based off of streets in Atlantic
City??...no biggie. I'll take pictures if you don't believe me.)
anyways, we showed our licenses to get into an apartment
building...judging not to be the nicest housing in the city. As we
came off the elevator, we were approached by a man name Benito who
immediately asked if we had any literature. So we introduced the Book
of Mormon and asked if we could set up a return appt. "Can you come up
to my room right now?" He asked excitedly. I wanted to say, "No, we're
pretty booked, we've gotta keep knocking doors...of course we can come
up!" ...but didn't want to give in to the natural man hehe. Sarcasm is
a disease, I swear.

Anyways, gosh I'm good at tangents. So we went up to his room on the
eleventh floor of this apt building. The view from his small porch
caught our eye so we spent a few minutes marveling at the gorgeous
sunset on the warm spring evening while getting to know each other.
He's from Puerto Rico but grew up in Brooklyn. In and out of drugs and
the works, he's been lost and looking for the truth at many churches,
but just still being confused. As we showed him the picture of Jesus
Christ holding a little lamb, tears came to his eyes, and as I've
never heard anyone say before, "That's me. I'm that little lamb." He
felt overcome with the Spirit as we testified of God's love for him.
He told us that he felt he had found the truth. No coincidence that we
were there at that moment outside the elevator. We had not planned to
be there at that point in the day.

We finished the Restoration and he was asking the perfect questions
like " Do we have a prophet today? And so the Book of Mormon clarifies
the Bible, right?" It felt surreal to be in that lesson. He gladly
accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and said he'd love to get
baptized on May 25th. Pray that he makes that date. He is so prepared
and I do not doubt that The Lord will bring forth His mighty miracles
in Atlantic City. We walked home hopping up and down we were so
excited for Benito. He has a powerful spirit and when he came to
church this past Easter Sunday, he leaned over to us and said "This is
what I've been looking for for 40 years. This is the place." We love
him already.

We had another powerful lesson with Pam and Elder and Sister Johnson
about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Elder Seeley and I work well
together and are finding our groove in teaching and finding. President
knew this area needed two missionaries willing to work hard. Joe
Ruple, benito and Klawmey all came to church on Sunday and it was the
largest English congregation I've seen here, I think we had 15. It was
exciting. I got to play a musical number, Our Savior's Love. I thought
about the Savior's gentle invitation to each of us, pleading, "Return
unto me...that I may heal you...come unto me [and] ye shall have
eternal life." Because of Him, we CAN have eternal life.

Sorry for the novel. It's kinda therapeutic for me to write like this.
we were soo busy yesterday I didn't even get to send the email! I
guess that's a good thing though!
Love always,

Elder Jake Robins

Ps mom and dad, more letters and stuff will come. Thanks again for the
wonderful birthday box. And packages!

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