Monday, October 13, 2014

If I Listen With My Heart

Hey Everyone! 

Yes! I got to see "Meet the Mormons" and yes it was...well just go see it for yourself if you haven't already. I love being part of this true church. People can say what they want to say about us, but truth be known, at the end of the day it's entirely up to individuals to find out for themselves if what we share is true! Just like President Uchtdorf said in General Conference, the most majestic creator of the entire universe loves each one of us and will readily answer any questions or sincere quests for truth.

Such sincere searching is what led Paye and Rachel from Liberia to Philly where God knew they would be placed in our path. They continue to get ridiculous opposition as they embark on this new journey as future members. They have immense faith, but I felt to tell them that their path would not be easy. God so often puts His elect through the "Refiner's Fire" so that they can come out something smoother, and better, and purer. Something, or someONE ready for heaven. This process is painful as I experienced a bit of this week, but I love being able to look back in gratitude. "Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down." -D. Todd Christofferson. I prayed for patience this past week, guess I shoulda known I was in for a doozy! Ha

I woke up Saturday just feeling heavy, like a thick malaise that I just couldn't seem to shake. I prayed, I sang and hummed hymns, but I just didn't want to talk, really just wanted to sleep. Have you ever felt that way. I can't and couldn't describe what it was or where in the world the feeling came from, but what I noticed about half way through the day was that it caused me to rely wholly upon God for strength to get through. It was cloudy, overcast and drizzly and just plain gloomy and gray all day. Appointment after appointment fell through, probably around 8 in all. Everything fell through. I started thinking it was my fault. We did end up teaching Raheem and he came to church Sunday and loved it! 

But when I got home Saturday night, I prayed and inquired about the day. Why did I need to go through that? Was is really necessary? Surely it didn't bring me and my comp closer together. Then the simple words of a gorgeous hymn we heard this past conference came to mind. "I feel the Holy Spirit as he teaches truth and right. He comforts me in times of need, He testifies of Christ. He speaks to me in quiet ways that fill my soul with peace, and  if I listen with my heart I can hear the Savior's voice." 
 How true that is. We have need for that still small voice. I felt that this day, as tough as it was, it brought me that much closer to my Savior. So at a spur of the moment Zone Conference last week, we watched "Meet the Mormons" and I was particularly touched by the last segment with the missionary mom. And I'm sure she had experiences where she had no where else to turn BUT to Christ. 

The assistants had asked me to play the organ at Zone Conference, which is always fun. We also had a lesson with Ed who has trouble believing in the concept of the Godhead, but we've taken a member named Bro Bustard over there, who converted from Catholicism. They get along super well and enjoy each other's company, but because we weren't able to take him with us to Ed's, we decided to watch Elder Bednar's most recent General Conference talk Come and See. He just loved it and realized that perhaps he has been just a little resistant to the Spirit's quiet promptings and testifying of the truth. It is slow going, but I feel to not give up on him!

I went on exchanges with Elder Farrer in the Drexel Hill area and had a neat experience teaching a couple from ..i Want to say Mainland China. They know just a little bit of english, so we took a Mandarin speaking member and had a great lesson. It's interesting teaching an entire religion from square one to people who barely have any concept of Deity. But with the Spirit, their hearts can be taught. I had the chance to teach the wife to pray, I thought of future children and how I will help them learn to pray, and I did exactly that with her. Very simple, but heartfelt. Children's prayers surely just melt our Father's heart. So innocent and pure. 

And then there are some few, who perhaps aren't so pure and innocent. We boarded the trolley to go home yesterday after church and went to about the middle of the trolley and sat down about 5 rows up from the very back. We heard a man almost immediately starting his monologue to the Mormons. I wanted to crack up, but tried to maintain a sense of professionalism, ya know. 

He said all this loud enough for everyone in the back of the trolley to hear, but was kind of talking to a girl next to him: "Oh boy, the _________ Mormon missionaries just got on the trolley...(then they started taunting us saying) Elder, Elder, Elder...Elder means older and wiser doesn't it? I beggeth you Elder, come converse with me. There's an empty seat back here, come convert me. Impart some of your wisdom and knowledge to me. And show me one of your black Mormons. (obviously he hasn't been to our ward...half african...)" It's just funny to hear very misinformed people try to tear us down. Luckily we really dont get much persecution at all, but Its all part of the experience!

Well, I wish I could write even a small fraction of what has been going on, but suffice it to say I don't doubt that this work isn't only about saving others. It's about preparing US and refining us for what surely lies ahead. That's one major thing I got out of Conference, we MUST have faith in Christ and in His living prophets. Soon enough, that faith will be tested and the choice will be ours as to whether or not we heed his counsel. If we truly seek to love Him though, that relationship will come. 
"That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us."Acts 17:27

Elder Jake Robins

PS CONGRATS Dallin!! You will make such an incredible missionary in Japan! The people are just going to love you. And you'll probably stick out like a sore thumb with blonde hair, but hey! All the more fun. I told President Anderson (who served full time in Japan) and he just about jumped out of his seat he was so excited for you. He said you're going to have cold cold winters down in Sendai. So have fun with that! Whooee, and you'll get there in the dead of winter. See ya in a few years! But really I love you Dal, thanks for your example to us all!

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