Spring is here! And it's supposed to rain tomorrow :(...but April
showers bring May flowers! Just wish we could send some to CA. I hope
Tyler and Jared both had enjoyable, non-pouty birthdays filled with
gratitude for life and for mom and dad and for all they do for us.
Elder Bergman and I spent a good amount of time at the beginning of
last week preparing for my very last zone training! So weird. I still
remember my first like it was yesterday. This prideful little
golden/greenie, something in Japanese or whatever you want to call it,
thinking he knew the ins and outs of missionary work. Boy was I in for
a kick in the pants! Sometimes literally. My trainer was great for me
and set me on the course for a good mission.
There have been many humbling moments that have caused me to suck up
my pride and just pray. Just work. Just love. And just serve. For
example, after sister Burton's powerful talk in General Conference
last weekend, I found myself this past week in many circumstances
where her self evaluation was put to the test. Pride is a vicious sin
and I think we all struggle with some form of it or another. Major
props to those who successfully overcome it in this life or even get
close. But there was a disagreement I had with my companion about how
to end zone training. I of course, felt that my way was best and vice
versa. And I feel like especially with men there's this unspoken
complex of "I need to be right all the time or I'm not a man." Men
won't say it, but let's be honest, it's pretty true in many guys. Not
all, but many. So I just did my usual scoff and walk away and pretend
like I don't care when really I'm boiling inside thing. Then I thought
of her talk. Am I choosing to be happy, or am I insisting that I am
invariably right? Gahhh! It is such a struggle that few of us are
willing to openly admit we have. But in that moment, no not in that
moment, but in reflecting on that moment, I've come to learn that our
relationships with others are in the process of becoming eternal. The
decision we are arguing over will be irrelevant or not really matter
within a few minutes or hours or days or months.
Christ asked us, And me, to love everyone. We were talking with Sheila
yesterday, and the kids and she said, how on earth can one love God or
say they love God if they don't love the people around them? I think
that in those moments when we so desperately want to be right or feel
that we are, if instead of lashing out irrationally we were to plead
in silent prayer for help and perhaps forgiveness, then the Savior
will come to our aid. #kingofrunonsentences.
I was on exchanges with Elder Smilanich this past Friday and Saturday.
He's the same Elder that i dragged around Philly in the pouring rain
on his first transfer out. He's in my zone again and boy is he a goon!
But we love him. On exchanges everything fell through. It was
drizzling rain and just one of those depressing days and nothing held.
We went through all of our back ups and still had left over time. It
was hard not to get discouraged, especially as the leader who should
be setting the "almost perfect" example. Jk. So that was frustrating,
but throughout the day I was praying and I remembered the words to a
beloved hymn "My Savior to my aid will come when sought in secret
prayer." -Hymns, 144
So I saw the little tender mercies of the Lord that kept me going. At
the end of the night, both our appts had fallen through so we prayed
to know what to do. The name of a woman living in a nursing home about
10 miles away came to mind. Sister Ellis. I'd only met her once with
Elder Eldredge, but she loved it and I felt good about it this time.
So we went and she needed a priesthood blessing. It's always a
pleasure to be able to minister to God's children and to be led to
them without you even having known beforehand that they were in need.
Earlier in the day we were walking in Norristown about the time when
kids were getting out of school. I look across the street to an
African American young woman who looked to be in high school. She was
just smiling with the biggest grin. I looked back and she was still
smiling at me, and again the third time. I thought. This is fishy, she
either wants to join our church or...yeah.
So like any giddy missionary would do when they get a solid smile and
hello, I beckoned her to cross the street. We started talking, I found
out she's in 7th grade and thought...my younger sister is older than
this girl. This is weird. So we showed her the Easter video on my
iPad, and whilst watching the video, she looked up momentarily at my
name tag and said "Elder Robison" then after the video was done she
looked up and smiled, said thank you, gave me a half hug without my
consent and without so much as a head nod or any recognition of Elder
Smilanich, she turned and walked off. My jaw dropped.
Another time was when we knocked on the door of an old potential, a
little kid looked through the window, knocked on it and smiled with
the cutest smile, looked back towards the dark inside, then back at us
and through the window he yelled "My dad says Go Away!" Ha a little
blunt, but we had to laugh because he was so cute about it.
I know Christ will come to our aid, perhaps especially when we need
Him most. "I will be merciful unto them...if they will repent and come
unto me." 2 Nephi 28:32
Have a joyous week. Love always,
Elder Jacob Robins