Hope the subject line doesn't make you hungry! Holy talito, where to
begin. Sorting through thoughts is sometimes like finding that one
needle in a haystack. And the haystack I always think of is the size
of the huge pile in the Disney movie "Aristocats"...that's pretty big.
So finding those few ideas to talk about or in terms of my weaknesses.
Where do I start in overcoming them! Some days I wake up and just feel
like an epic failure at everything. My companion is so good at lifting
people up and helping me see the good in everything, whether I want to
or not. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ for that very reason, I may
be impatient with the seemingly imperceptible rate of change, but
Christ is pleased with those baby steps.
Paye and Rachel are taking those steps towards baptism. They came to
church and enjoy the sweet Spirit that can be felt there, not to
mention half the congregation is from their home country. In one of
our lessons, Paye was like "That church is just amazing! I thought
it'd be all white people! It's going to explode with Africans!" It is
a very diverse Ward which is helping me truly learn slowly that God
loves ALL of His children. White, black, male, female, young, and old.
We are all born into different circumstances with different trials and
challenges unique to our eternal progression. Some ask, why does God
allow suffering to occur, why is God letting all these good people die
from Ebola in Africa. You can imagine the feelings of our Ward
members, worrying about and mourning over the loss of loved ones.
I've thought a good amount about whether or not I'm doing enough to
help the poor and the needy, the broken hearted and down trodden.
Perhaps I'm too caught up in my own little problems that I completely
neglect to even pray for those poor in spirit whose plights are
seemingly insurmountable. So I loved walking in Center City last week
with Elders Farrer and Castro because we saw all types of people, but
what stood out to me was a simple pizza shop on 11th and Chestnut
called Rosa's. We walked in and there were several hundred post its on
the walls in the shop. My initial thought was, "Hmm, that's a little
tacky...but okay." (Just go on judging why don't we!) Then I learned
what they are all for. Customers can buy a slice of good thin crust
cheese pizza for a dollar and if they pay another dollar they can put
a "Rosa" on the wall. That "Rosa" post it acts as a coupon for a free
slice of pizza for the homeless and hungry. They can walk in, grab one
off the wall and get a meal to hold them over. It's simple. And no It
doesn't solve ALL of their problems. But it helps. And I think that is
what the Savior intended us to do. Help out as much as we can.
Elder Beatty came to our area on exchanges on Tuesday and Wednesday
and we had a great time together. He's hard working but fun and out
going, so it was a good exchange. Later in the week, I went on
exchanges for a few hours with Elder Tarry, one of the AP's. Love that
kid, down to earth and great missionary, but he's a lot of fun too. I
learned a lot about striving to see and vocalize the good in others.
Our recent convert Francis came out teaching with us and boldly
testified of the need to read the Book of Mormon. It was a powerful
Jimmy Daniel is getting ready to join, he's got such a good, pure
heart and sincere desire to know and live the truth. And we have been
trying to meet and teach his mom, Joseph's fiancée Florence for quite
a while. Well it finally worked out that she was able to sit in on a
lesson and she really seemed to like it. Joseph and Florence have 5
kids together and are working on getting married. There's a catch that
often makes it more difficult for people to get married in W. African
cultures. Each spouse has to get permission from their side of the
family before they can get legally married. Kind of an interesting
tradition that we respect, kind of just threw a wrench in the plans.
But all in God's time. Vince came to church and loved it, despite a
rather dramatic fall an older member had coming down from the stand
during sacrament meeting. This Ward beautifully comes together to
serve each other, and just like that one slice of pizza that can be a
meal for the starving, "by small and simple things are great things
brought to pass." How true that is. Now I just gotta practice what I
preach! Isn't that the test for us all though?
I love you all, thank you for your prayers, love and support.
Elder Jacob Robins