Monday, March 9, 2015

In the Glorious Cause of Truth

Dear Family and Friends,

Gee, I kind of feel like I'm writing an obituary, dear family just
sounds so formal. This week was like the two books I wrote in 2nd
grade. Jake's terrible, awful, no good, very bad day. Combined with
the more optimistic, Jake's Wonderful, amazing something something (I
forget the adjectives and it's going to sound dumb anyway) day. It was
awful but amazing at the same time. And I learned so much I couldn't
fit it in my dad's latest hit, "Off Kilter" by none other than Glen
Robins. Props to you dad, I'm so proud to call you dad. Not just
because you just got your first book published, but because you're a
man. A man of honesty and integrity and virtue. A man for good. A man
for God. I would not be here today if it weren't for you and your
beautiful companion guiding me along the strait and narrow. Thank you
both for your example to us all.

Oh and to get the plug in, read his book! I hear it's good, but I
won't know for another month or two! Yikes that is creeping up on me.
I remember sitting down in interviews with my first mission President
Schaefermeyer and telling him I would really really miss the temple. I
don't know what it is, but I just have a special place in my heart for
the temple. And so I knew not going for two years would be tough.
"Well Elder Robins" he said sternly, "you better start looking for a
family right away, cause you're not going to be here when the
Philadelphia temple is finished." I took it to heart. Well I never
found the family in time, but the Lord provided another opportunity
for me to get to the temple on my mission. Our mission goal this year
is actually for every missionary to get to the temple once a month
with a recent convert or reactivated member for baptisms or
endowments. I immediately latched on to the goal even though I had two
transfers left. So I prayed and I prayed and on Thursday or so, we got
a text from our RC Anastasia who had her recommend and everything
ready to go for this Saturday to do baptisms, and the text said that
she had to work on Saturday. I was crushed. I was so angry. I was
questioning why I even had faith to pray that we'd be able to go with
her. And yeah I know that was bad on my part. That was the same day we
were stuck inside with the cars grounded as we watched 7 inches of
snow fall to the ground. By far our biggest storm yet. But it killed
the work that day. This ain't a walking area. Gave me a little time to
catch up which was nice though.

So that text came on a dumper day which just added to frustrations.
Well the next morning, Friday comes and a recent convert of almost a
year, Patrice, texts and asks if we're still good to meet at the
Valley Forge famous Mormon- owned ice cream  shop, Zwahlen's. We
answered in the affirmative and told  her to come with her family account set up. Well we get there and get on her profile
and try to find her dads parents. Her dad is Hispanic, and bless their
hearts they're not the best at keeping records or doing family
history, and it seemed just about hopeless. But we decided to try her
moms side. The words of a beloved hymn came to mind as we helped her
find her ancestors, #243 Let us All Press On "an unseen hand will aid
me and you in the glorious cause of truth." I kid you not there was
some sort of divine guidance in that hour long meeting with Patrice.
Neither of us knew what we were doing, I just thought I'd press a few
buttons, but somehow it all worked out. I called up the family history
consultant in the ward and got some tips on printing the names to take
to the temple. I don't know how we did it, but our fingers were guided
to a little green temple symbol of a couple on her mom's side who
hadn't had their work done yet. We just about flipped a table we were
so excited! She was just beaming with the Spirit of Elijah. She
printed them in the back office and came out and I got a caramel apple
to celebrate. Best caramel apples I've had btw. Maybe besides those
famous huge ones the Hart family would give out around Christmas.

So the next morning, Saturday we drove the 2 1/2 hours to the DC
temple. She and Jason both loved it. I loved it and felt filled.
Yesterday was beautiful too. Many people came to church, like almost
as many as we had in Philly. I love seeing investigators at church.
You know they are at least trying to progress if they're at least
making it to church on Sunday. Oh I went on exchanges with elder Owen
in West Chester and we had a straight up ice storm. Ice is so much
worse than snow. Four wheel drive ain't gonna do diddly squat on ice.
But it was kind of fun it was like every outdoor surface was just
glazed over, kind of pretty looking. Pretty but deadly. I got to use
some of my Spanish because part of that Ward is Spanish. It was a good
exchange and he's a good kid who actually roomed with Aden Hales at

We are preparing the Yi kids for baptism this week. I love love love
this family. We've all got our problems and deal with them in
different ways, but the gospel is the only lasting real answer. Elder
Bergman said last night that a lot of times we see our trials as cages
that we are locked in, when in reality they're often more like hugging
and holding tight to a thorn bush. That's pretty true. Maybe not every
trial, but many. May we ever remember the beautiful words of the
Apostle Paul "We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us."
Romans 8:35-37

I know that is true. Look to Him and His gospel and look up. It will
all work out. I love you all!

(Jake's first selfie?)

(No caption included, but it looks like both eggs had 2 yolks? Significant moment for Jake apparently)

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