Monday, April 14, 2014

One Year Older...And Hopefully Wiser

Happy Easter Family and friends!

What an awesome time of year it is. The trees and flowers are in bloom
after a long, dreary winter. AC isn't quite up with the times,
spring's a little behind, but that's ok. It's in the near future.
Actually, strike that, I saw a few Cherry blossoms and smiled today.
Almost as good as the wonderful birthday letters and gifts from family
and friends!

I can't tell you how much it made me smile and tear up a bit just
reading the letters and thoughtful gifts from my cousins aunts and
uncles, siblings and my outstanding parents. Public shout out to Glen
and Laurie for being the dynamic duo and best parents I really could
ever ask for! With all sincerity they are truly some of God's choicest
and I thank My Heavenly Father often for them. So thank you mom and
dad. It has been a wonderful birthday and never would've guessed that
I'd celebrate a birthday in NJ....hehe but my companion and others
have made it fun. The Johnson's, senior couple down in Cape May drove
up and took us out to lunch because I turn 20 (Alli did a good job of
making me feel ancient...halfway to 40...geez. Ha) and Elder Facuri is
getting transferred tomorrow!!!! What?!? I didn't see it coming, but
he is needed elsewhere. I'm going to miss him and his happy go lucky
state of being that so frequently cheered me up and kept me going this
last transfer.

I've probably learned the most with him so far and I got similar
advice in a few letters, and that is to just be myself. Why would
people want what I have if I'm being anything other than myself. There
was a quote by President Uchtdorf that Dallin sent in his letter that
says, "While the Atonement is mean to help us all become more like
Christ, it is not meant to make us all the same." How true that is!
I've had the chance to witness that changing firsthand in my own life
and in the lives of those we are working with.

Joe Ruple for example, (husband of a spanish member...who speaks
english and attends the english branch) is a very confident, pretty
successful hard working guy who is actually a former pro wrestler and
current fitness body building guru. He has posed this question in a
more polite, inquisitive manner than I"ll make it sound, "Why would
someone successful and happy like me need anything more (the gospel)
in my life?" He's not the typical guy that we meet on the street who
NEEDS the church, but rather the Church NEEDS him and his Christlike
service and love. Clayton M. Christensen talks about that in his Power
of Everyday Missionaries book; when the winds of prosperity blow,
people want to feel needed. And slowly but surely I think Joe is
coming to understand that with the gospel in his life, he can do so
much more good than he's already doing. How could it possibly hurt to
have the Son of God as your personal guide through the windy "Klamath
Rivers" of life...#highadventure. This next transfer we will set a
date for him to get baptized. He's pretty ready, just doesn't know it.

I went on 2 exchanges with Elders in the district this past week,
Elder Self on Thursday name Elder El-Bakri on Friday. Back to back
exchanges are exhausting, especially when you're trying to figure out
how to help the missionaries and their areas. But The Lord sustains
us. Elder Self was here in AC and we taught Joe Hicks a great lesson
on receiving revelation for himself. He tells us this is the church
that he's been searching for much of his 81 years of life. But he
needs that reassuring witness. So we used Elder Bednars video
describing Patterns of Light and the Spirit of Revelation to help him
understand how his answers will come. He described his situation as
being at the edge of a cliff and he has to jump across the river to
the other side. He knows he's going to do it and the fire coming
behind him is coming quickly, he can feel the heat. But he's still
just got to ACT and jump! The leap of faith is often the hardest part.
I'll admit it must be tough for them coming into the church, seeing a
support group of about5-6 active English speaking members...when they
could go to another church in AC with a congregation of 200+. But if
the truth is worth it to them..

Elder El-Bakri is from Utah but his grandpa is from Baghdad, Iraq.
Kinda rare! He's a good elder with a great work ethic. And we have a
similar sarcastic sense of humor. We taught a lesson or two in Spanish
and I loved how the Spirit helped me to speak the words that I needed
to speak. Nope, I wasn't called to speak another language, but why not
help The Lord further His work by developing and using that gift?!

As Facebook missionaries, we're called to teach, find and help others
come unto Christ using the digital resources we've been given to
fulfill our purpose. Some of you may have noticed that I'm now friends
with my parents on FB. We can be friends with parents and siblings now
for the sole purpose of their helping our investigators build and
strengthen their testimonies. And the church has launched the
pre-Easter #BecauseofHim initiative to tell the world that we have
hope and light and joy because of our Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. And
they can have that too.

I know that as we all work together to bring this light to our
brothers and sisters, we will surely fulfill the promises that Alma
made to the people at the waters of Mormon. Our hearts will be "knit
together in unity and in love one towards another." Mosiah 18:21

Go out this week and find the ONE. Find the one, who will find the
one, who will find the one. And one by one, we will fulfill our
Savior's commission to spread His gospel and truth and bring God's
children home. 10 "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight
of God; "(D&C 18:10) so what will you do this Easter to remember our

Well I feel ancient now. 20 already? Hope that doesn't make you
feel...actually ancient mom and you're not that old...yet.
Have a great week!

Love always,

Elder Jake Robins

Sent from my iPad

Ps when we were out with the senior couple a little old black lady,
nicely dressed came up to me and asked if it was my birthday, bc she
heard them singing Happy Birthday. I said yes and she started singing
to me. And told me she was on Broadway....but wouldn't tell me her
name. Probably won't ever get that again! Former broadway

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