Sorry about the kind of heart stopper last week.! I had no intentions
or plans to do any sort of prank until I was writing the weekly email
and the thought came to mind. Glad it worked out though! Nope, I'm not
coming home. And Happy Graduation Jess and Wil!!
First of all, is it just me or does General Conference just keep
getting better and better?!? I guess it makes sense since we are
getting closer and closer to the Second Coming of the Savior. It is an
exciting time to live! We had a Zone Training on Thursday and part of
the time, the Cherry Hill Sister Training Leaders talked about family
history work. I'll be honest, usually in the past, I would tune out
whenever someone talked about indexing or Family History Work or
genealogy...it's all for grandma and grandpa anyways, right?? Nope,
someone needs to help em out! Show them how to use a computer...hehe.
Love ya gramps! But I felt the powerful Spirit of Elijah as we
discussed how this work is the very work that will link us to
generations past and future. And living. The church must be true. Why
else would be doing all of this? Just for fun?
A man drove up next to us when we were walking on the street south of
AC in Margate, NJ( still on the island). I was so sure he'd just start
bashing us or telling us that soliciting is illegal. But he rolled
down the window with his shades on, looking a bit swag, but in his mid
50's. He asked if we were Mormons, "Yeah, we are!" we exclaimed. "How
can we help you?"
"Well a lady from the FBI called me recently and told me I'd find my
answers in Utah. Mormons are in Utah, right?"
"Yeah that's where church headquarters is located...but what answers
are you looking for?" Intrigued by his unusual introduction, no name
"Well, my dad was adopted and I have no idea who my grandparents are
because my dad was part of the CIA so there are absolutely no records
that I've found past him. Can you guys help me out?"
Naturally..we told him about family history. And why he would have
been directed to Utah. Then he got intrigued when we told him we'd
love to help him find his family( wanted to quote the not at all
cheesy youth song "Find our Cousins"...but I refrained). So he kept
talking about how he might be related to a prophet, etc. So we'll see
what we can find. The Spirit of Elijah could most definitely touch his
heart in all this.
We had great lessons with Pam and Joe this past week, both with
members. Pam is a "chatty kathy" if you will...she goes on the longest
and most irrelevant tangents. But she's got a heart of gold and a
yearning for the truth. We are trying to help her have a personal
experience with the Atonement, so she'll feel it for herself. She's
got some family trials going on, so extra prayers in her behalf would
be helpful! Francis Reh, the oldest of one of the Burmese families,
came and watched General Conference with us on the iPad yesterday. The
members reached out to him and he was smiling the whole time. We are
going to start teaching the families basic English with some materials
the church provided.
This past Wednesday, Elder Facuri and I took an hour and a half bus
ride to Cape May where Elder and Sister Johnson( incredible senior
couple in the district). They drove us to an appt with a disabled less
active sister, who was so grateful for our visit that just lifted her
spirits. We went onto the Cape May Coast Guard Base with special name
tags and everything to deliver some copies of the Book of Mormon for
some who had been interested in learning more. We also participated in
a Book of Mormon study class that the sisters have been doing for
investigators and members. It was so cool to hear the growing
testimonies of some of their investigators. The light just filled
their eyes as we discussed the truths of the gospel. It was a fun,
productive, but very very long day.
In my interview with President Anderson, he actually asked if we had
gone down to Cape May to help the sisters out with the booming
missionary work they have to do. We also talked about the district and
my area. He gave me some sound advice and just listened, which I
needed. We are meeting with the Atlantic County director of Family and
Social services to look into service opportunities at food banks,
helping with food stamps, soup kitchens, etc. They have been more than
helpful in aiding us as we look for volunteer opportunities. Good way
to get in to the community.
So a theme that I got out of all of this marvelous General Conference
was that of courage amidst persecution. Many of the apostles made
spoke in a way that warned us of more frequent and intense persecution
for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it's members.
Nope, I haven't had mashed potatoes thrown in my face, but we've
gotten our fair share. So what is all for? Just a good church with
good members? That doesn't seem like reason enough to me. This is
something we fight for. Why? Because we have a common faith in our
Heavenly Father. We have felt His love. We know that as we build our
"foundation upon the rock of our Redeemer who is Christ, the Son of
God" we CANNOT FALL (Hel. 5:12). I love being part of this hastening
of he work of salvation in the way that I am. It really has been the
toughest experience of my life. But I have felt the sweet assurance
from my Savior that this will all be worth it. Even if it doesn't seem
so in the moment. If you are wavering in testimony or conviction, if
you fear sharing and living your faith, get on your knees tonight and
pray. Seek His hand in your life. I promise it will come. This church
and gospel is true. I know it.
Love you all so much,
Elder Jake Robins
Our "Christ-like love will change the world." Jeffrey R. Holland
|No caption for this one. Another great blurry pictures thanks to his "Barbie Digital"|
|Elder Facuri snoozing? No caption again.|