Monday, September 22, 2014

I love the Little Things

Dear Family and Friends!

I'm physically tired and often exhausted with not a spare moment to Rest, there are souls to save and people to love. I found several times this week however, that my body was telling me in its own ways, to take care of itself and perhaps slow down a tad. Saturday I woke up with the feeling that it would be a physically tough day. Just felt a little slower. My muscles were sore, and by the end of the day I had a throbbing migraine. But I felt the Lords strength to keep going and  We had some great spiritual experiences with investigators and members. 

One such was with a girl named Didi and her mom Kou. Didi is 16 and they're active in their fellowship church, but she wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was strong as we testified of God's eternal plan for us. I love talking about families and how God wants all of us to come back home to Him. How hard it must be for Him to see some of His children choose otherwise, believing their own worldly way to happiness is best. So it is refreshing to meet those who DO want to know about their creator's grand design. 

I had the opportunity to go on two exchanges this week with Elder Pintor first in our area. He is from Las Vegas and is just a solid missionary with a great work ethic. A lot of missionaries, myself included, assume he's a spanish elder because he's Hispanic looking...but he's not! We had a good day and I learned a lot about the importance of diligence. It's interesting to note, but when we are striving to develop Christlike attributes such as Charity, or humility, they actually requires the driving force of diligence to be acquired. For example, Francis Sayeh, baptized last week had lost contact with the missionaries for a few weeks before I got in the area. But something kept gnawing at him inside, and when he met with them again he diligently put forth the effort to make a change in his life and move forward in his progression in the gospel. He read his scriptures, he came to church with the Davis family or the Mooney family. He prayed and he committed to a solid baptismal date. I cannot express in words how incredible it is to witness the miraculous changes that take place in the lives of others that we work with. Francis is still just beaming with joy. He wasn't able to get confirmed with Agatha yesterday because he threw out his back and was in excruciating pain. Sounds like someone I know...not to be snarky..hehe. Love Ya dad! But Bishop Ard is well aware of Francis and his pure and wonderful desires to get into family history. I don't know what it is, but he Spirit of Elijah just has him drawn in and you'll hear him say he feels like that's his calling in life. He can't wait to get to the temple to perform baptisms for the dead. And he's telling his friends on Facebook about his baptism. These people are just so solid! I don't know what to do! 

Agatha was overcome with joy and the Holy Ghost as she was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints yesterday. Another sister with whom she had become friends the day before, leaned over right after and congratulated her on this important step in her life. Agatha too is just radiating light and truth. She is excited to teach gospel principles in the coming weeks. 

On Thursday and Friday elder Roberts and I went to the South Philly district meeting. The church building is right on Broad St in Philly, but it's the 2nd floor of a Tax Income office/business building, so it's just an interesting locale. But during the district meeting, we did a conference call with the other districts in the zone about MUSIC. This can often be a sensitive subject and one which President Anderson has emphasized the importance of dealing with in a spirit of humility. The reason being, the rules in the White Handbook are clear, but vague at the same time. It doesn't say only MoTab and EFY music. Heavens no. We ALL might go nuts. But when we're preparing for sacred experiences like going to the temple, or going to take the Sacrament or making a big decision in life, listening to loud and invasive music is not going to invite the Spirit of revelation into our lives. I've experienced that here on the mission, sure it may be a good "pump up" but these people need to learn heaven and how to get there. Would it not make sense that we should act and live in such a way that WE will learn heaven too? 

I just paraphrased from Brad Wilcox's talk His Grace Is Sufficient. If you haven't read it, please do, search it on Thanks to Uncle Dan for introducing me to that talk in a Priest Quorum lesson before the mission. I found that Christ's grace  is sufficient to transform us. After that district meeting (boy am I good at mile long tangents!) I went on exchanges in South Philly with Elder Pead, from St. George. He goes home in about 3 months, but didn't seem to be trunky! This kid has a heart of gold.  The first thing he said was how excited he was for the exchange. We've had a few of the same companions, but other than that our conversations just came naturally and we got along well. He covers independence hall and Liberty Bell and that area. We also walked by the Jewish synagogue where Joseph Smith preached in centuries ago. This city has so much history, I can't keep track of it all. So I just get lost in the work instead. I had the sacred privilege to minister to Elder Pead and i think we both grew from experiences we had on the exchange. I saw in ways that I could never have imagined, the Lord opening my heart towards other missionaries and His other children in general. 

What is it that makes Charity feel so good inside!?!? I just Love it! I can't get enough of it. I love the little kids we're working with, including Immanuel who is ready to also become a member soon! It is not easy teaching younger kids because of their shorter attention spans, and we have to adapt to their level of understanding. 

There's a song, and sorry this is pretty choppy today, called The Little Things on the ldsyouth website that has hit home. It's the little things from day to day that show me God still loves us, He loves you and the people I'm teaching. We come out of an appt and reach a trolley just in time to get to our next appt. or remembering to pack a granola bar which, with a bottle of Powerade becomes dinner for the night. Or my companion making me French toast in the morning or finding a $10 bill on  the ground...yes that did happen! And these are all seemingly insignificant things, but I can already see how recognizing the little things and the hand of God, leads to a lifetime of gratitude and happiness. 

I think of the scripture that says "6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise...And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls." (Alma 37:6-7)

I love that even though I may not see all the effects my words or actions have on people, by those small and simple things and through the grace of Christ, I know without a doubt that good has been done. And in the long run I would bet those small little things will add up to a life or two changed for the better. I love you all and hope you are all well.


Elder Jacob Robins

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