Monday, 27 May 2013

Latest photos ... aus der Schweiz ..

Sharing some of the photographs Elder Robertson has sent today.  Hope you enjoy them!

Elder Nakken and Elder Robertson

Love this of Jacob and Elder ......?

Fix your badge!! =)

Switzerland - Die Schweiz

The field is 'green all ready to .... weed?'

From 'Greenie' to 'Golden' ....

I am bursting today.  I have noticed a maturing in Elder Robertson's emails home already.

This was good to hear...

"I am doing very well thanks. I'm getting into the swing of things and  the numbers are picking up in some places."

Reply to 'how is the Swiss German coming along?'

Swiss German is still hard. Most of the people revert to HOCHDEUTSCH or high-german but im trying to brush up on my grammar during language study because thats my greater downfall right now. I already have the missionary purpose, 3 Nephi scripture and Joseph Smith Words from the first vision all memorised in German.

How are your investigators?

Our Italian investigator came with us to Stake Conference yesterday AND he enjoyed it!! 

How was your split with Elder McKee?

My split with Elder Mckee went very well. It was good to spend a day with him and teach some actual investigators for once.

I stand corrected also.  I sent him a 'Greenie Package' to the mission office and he's just received it.

Greenie ...
You can read about that here. After thanking me for it, he corrected me and told me the new missionaries are now referred to as 'Goldens' rather than 'Greenies".  I did know this and do prefer this term, but his favourite colour is green. There's nothing wrong with going with tradition is there? haha

To redeem myself I've wrapped his English goodies in 'golden' paper to send next week.  Can't have him thinking I'm not with the 'mission lingo!'

New missionaries now called 'Golden's'

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Elder Robertson with Elder Fingerle

Very grateful to Elder Fingerle who has just sent this photo to us after seeing Elder Robertson on Saturday.  The Swiss Temple is the background again.

mit Elder Fingerle
No more information at this stage, other than that Jacob impressed him deeply.  I've begged asked for more details!!  I'll update if and when I find out more!! So wonderful to see his smiling face.

UPDATE!! This was at the Bern Stake Conference.  The stake centre is on the temple grounds. Elder Finglerle said Jacob was relaxed, happy and visibly matured.  Wished I'd known Elder Fingerle was going he could have delivered packages.  :-)

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Elder Robertson & Elder McKee splits

Well despite not expecting an email from Jacob yesterday, I emailed him just incase he did!! I didn't want him to be disappointed should he, on the off chance, get the opportunity to get to a computer.  I'm so glad I did.  It taught me an important lesson, that despite whatever the calendar tells you ... always get his email to him for Monday!  It was sooo wonderful to hear from him.  This week seems to have been really slow waiting for our weekly email!

Him and Elder Nakken are getting on really well and working hard together. He says we are 'finding a lot of potentials, relatively, for the area we're in.'  

He told me he has thought of some things he might need, but hadn't written them down ... I wonder what the list next week will hold!

Today, he is on splits with Elder McKee.  Both of them were in the England, Lichfield Stake, then the Germany, Frankfurt Stake and both are now serving in the Alpine German-Speaking Mission. Elder McKee's mum forwarded me this photograph of them at the Swiss, Bern Temple from within the last couple of weeks, yesterday.

'Ask the missionaries ...'  Elder Nelson Oct '12

You can watch the General Conference broadcast of Elder Nelson's talk by clicking here or on the tab at the top of this blog titled "Elder Nelson - 'ask the missionaries'.

More Photos from the Reinach Branch picnic ...

And so the blessing of receiving photos from Bruder Schär continued yesterday ...

I can see why they get on so well! Elder Nakken is Elder Robertson's trainer!

Who is he harpooning ...??


Monday, 20 May 2013

Reinach Branch Picnic ... photos

I know it's not tomorrow yet ... but if you want to make a mother beam with smiles and bring tears to her eyes, send her a couple of photos of her missionary son/daughter!!

I'd just finished my email to Jacob and then I received photographs from Elder Robertson's ward mission leader, Bruder Schär. Thank you to him for being a blessing to me today.  These are as hot off the press as we will get!! =)

still playing with sticks!

who doesn't love a good belly laugh?
Bis später!

P-day is Tuesday this week

Today is normally P-day (preparation day) for the missionaries, however it's a public holiday in Switzerland, as it is in Germany also.  It is known as Whit Monday. Elder Robertson will have his P-day tomorrow (Tuesday) instead, so look forward to your emails then.  If you would like to write or email him, I have put the information is in the tabs above.

Write a letter ...

This week, Tuesday is going to be my favourite day of the week!!

During our Skype on Mother's Day, Elder Robertson shared that the Reinach Branch were holding a branch picnic today and they were hoping that a family they had met would be able to join them.  I'm looking forward to hearing from him tomorrow and hoping he fulfils my need for information!

Bis Morgen!!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Photo from Swiss Conference

Sister Miles is so good sharing photos with the families of the missionaries in the mission.  Yesterday I had notification that new photos had been uploaded to  Mostly they were photos of zones not including Jacob, but I managed to find one ....

If you like the 'Where's Wally?" books, then ....
My heart melted.  It felt like the first day of school, looking through the school gate to see if they've made friends and smiling.  Hopefully there will be more to upload soon!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Post bombarding week!

This week for FHE we wrote letters to Jacob.  I've been writing and emailing but felt it important that Elder Robertson receive 'real' letters throughout the week from the rest of the family instead of just an email rush on Mondays.

Dear Elder Robertson ....

Matty used his artistic talents and made a card with scripture references included.  Thomas made a picture to send - "I love you to pieces!"  and Me, Matt and Heber wrote a letters. I included a talk that Elder Holland had given with the missionaries in the Provo MTC in January '13.

Elder Holland 

Elder Holland is an Apostle of Jesus Christ.  Again we shouldn't have favourites ... but he's mine!  It is as you would expect such a great talk. You can read the whole talk here.  It is really motivating and uplifting.  I particularly like the focus on the individual missionary as he says:

“Missionaries are under obligation to come home having had at least one convert, you! There is no excuse in time or eternity for you not to have that one precious conversion.”

"So you’ve got to invest yourself in this for your sake, for the Church’s sake, and for heaven’s sake."

What a blessing for those missionaries to have such wise councel from Elder Holland in person.  I'm looking forward to hearing about the experiences Jacob will have as and when Apostles visit his mission.

Elder Bednar is also a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  He's also my favourite! haha He explains the 'Role of an Apostle' in this clip below.  I love how he teaches that apostles are missionaries and how we as members of the church need to be converted.  It is only eleven minutes long.  It is worth the investment of time!! Enjoy!!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Swiss Zone Conference photo!

This week has been great! From Skyping Sunday to eMail Monday!  Then in addition to that I got sent this gorgeous photo from one of our nieces, Ashleigh.  We shouldn't have 'favourites', but she was after sending me this smile!! haha You've heard me say it before, I LOVE each piece of information or photograph.

Don't they look GREAT!

Elder Robertson and Elder Pugh were friends in England.  Elder Pugh has been in the mission field a little longer than Elder Robertson has.  This was taken at a Zone Conference for the Alpine German-Speaking Missionaries currently serving in Switzerland. They both look full of the Spirit! What a blessing to get a tiny glimpse into a moment of his missionary life.  I love seeing him look so happy and it's nice for him to have the opportunity to meet friends who are serving in the same mission.  Please keep sharing!! 

Monday, 13 May 2013

Emailday ...

After Skyping yesterday I was still just as eager to get an email from Elder Robertson today.  Monday is my favourite day of the week!! This week my email was the shorter one and his dad was blessed with the longer email.

Matt's subject heading is 'did you think to pray?'  Mine was 'Love you!'  

I was fine that dad got a meatier email than I did this week.  I had hogged the Skype conversation yesterday! haha

Jacob says:

'Its unbelievable how much more you pray on a mission because you want to do the Lord's will and want to serve Him as best you can. My prayers are quite short and seemingly meaningless in German compared to those in English, but I try to pray in German as much as possible.'

He shares some other things with his dad and concludes with ....

This morning I read through parts of Preach my Gospel and the necessity of having the Spirit with you always, stood out to me. Its recognisable how much of a difference you can feel it by serving the Lord, compared to everyday life. It really is a blessing to be able to serve the Lord and serve a mission, but the best missionaries are always the members. Whether they serve one another or reach out to those around them, we all play a part in building the Kingdom of God.

Then I got further emails with a couple of photos attached in each.  I am spoilt!!

His MTC group
Jacob at the Swiss Temple
The nice link here with the Swiss temple is that the grandfather of Elder Wettstein who taught and confirmed me, was a sealer in this temple.  How great is that!! I hope Jacob is keeping a journal of these experiences!! 

Mother's Day Skype

Can I just say ... Skyping Elder Robertson was just WONDERFUL! We left church a little early so that we were back in time for our arranged time of 16.30.  We had about 10 mins to turn on the computer and get ready.  The clock on the computer clocked over to 16.32 ... That was it, I was in a panic ... 'it's not going to work!' 'What if we don't get to see him?'  Heber was trying to be the calming influence with words like "chill mom!" haha  I was far from chilled!!  At about 16.45 Elder Robertson called wondering where we were.  It took us about 15 minutes to sort out the problem.  Don't know what it was, but after deleting the skype contact and re-adding - technology gave me the best Mother's Day present - there he was smiling and happy! He looked GREAT!

Our first Skype ... 

He was skyping from his ward mission leaders home.  We are very grateful to him for allowing us to use his home. Jacob loved speaking to us and his brothers - especially Thomas.  He shared experiences he is having with the missionary work in the area and families he is meeting.  He has been invited to members homes about three times so far.  He and Elder Nakken are mostly cooking for themselves and I think Elder Nakken is mostly doing that! Time for dad to send him some recipes!! haha

He mentioned in an email to Thomas that his bed wasn't as comfortable at his. After asking about that he tells me that he sleeps with a mattress on the floor as the bed frame is very noisy even with the slightest movement.  It sounds like a ton of mice are under the bed! He thinks the bed frame will be replaced this week.  I hope so!!

He finds wearing a suit everyday a bit of a bind! haha

There are some American families in the branch.  The branch has an English Sunday School Class and he is enjoying attending that.  They went to a follow up appointment and the lady they were hoping to see had gone back to live in Cuba. They continued to knock in the area and the very last home they knocked on they found an American Family who would like to see them again.  Reinach Branch are having a ward picnic next week and they are hoping this family will be able to attend.

Part way through Skype froze, we thought we had lost him ....

Didn't I tell you he looked GOOD! ;-)
Thankfully we managed to get back up and running. I couldn't resist getting a screen shot of him whilst it had frozen though! haha

He would like some letters throughout the week so if you would like to write to him please send them to this address:

Elder Jacob Robertson
Kirche Jesu Christi
Hauptstraße 17
4143 Dornach

I'll keep his address updated with transfers!! 

Love his badge!! =)
We all really enjoyed spending that hour with Jacob.  It is a huge blessing to be able to do so.  I did have most of the time with him so I think I'll have to share a little better at the next Skype.  We prayed together, dad offered the prayer, so much better than hearing mum squealing through the tears. It was very emotional when we said goodbye. How many days until the Christmas Skype? I am extremely proud of him ... he's going to be great!!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Handwritten letter arrives ...

On Wednesday the postman brought a letter from the President and Sister Miles. Enclosed was a handwritten letter from Elder Robertson which he had written the first day he arrived in the mission home.  =)

I'm grateful that the Mission President and his wife are so thoughtful towards the parents of the missionaries in their care.  They understand that we enjoy both contact and information and they take the time to communicate with our family.  I also appreciate them telling me how wonderful he is and that they had a great interview with him.  That is music to a mother's ears!

A friend of the family who isn't a member of the church, was asking about Jacob's mission and if I was worried about sending him off and not seeing him for two years.  Although I will and do miss him terribly,  him being away from home leaves a gaping whole in our family, I don't feel worried about him.  I do feel immensely grateful that I am not 'worried' and explained to her that it is very different sending out a missionary to sending them out into the world back packing for example.  As Jacob serves as a missionary he will have a companion with him at all times (as do all of the other missionaries).  Extended from that he is in a 'district' reporting to a district leader. That district is part of a zone and is lead by zone leaders.  These zone leaders work with the assistants to the Mission President.  The Mission President and his wife work vigilantly to take care of each of the serving missionaries, taking care of them both spiritually and physically.  So knowing he is watched over by a loving Heavenly Father, along with fellow missionaries and has a wonderful Mission President and wife, I am full of gratitude for the young man he is and the choice he has made to serve The Lord and the fantastic opportunities and experiences he will have both spirituality and temporally.

Part of President Miles' letter reads "We are grateful to have Elder Robertson in our mission. The new missionaries always bring with them a wonderful spirit.  Please know that we will watch over him with great concern.  We expect that he will serve our Father in Heaven valiantly."

Love this saying ...

Jacob's letter was addressed to all of us, he shares his excitement to serve and gives some advice to his brothers about serving also.  There really is something different about pen to paper and soaking in those words.  He will get emails on Mondays but will also get a hand written letter from me during each week.

Sunday is Mother's Day.  On Mother's day the missionaries are allowed to call or skype home to their families. You can imagine how excited I am to Skype and see him in his badge 'in person'!  A wonderful friend, who is also a missionary mum has given me some great ideas for our Skype. EXCITED!! .....

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

That's not the language they taught me in the MTC ....

My email yesterday from Elder Robertson was GREAT!  It was full of humour, whit and information!  His companion Elder Hakken, is American.   One of the last few American Missionaries allowed into Switzerland with the current visa regulations.  They sound like they are working hard in a new area and are living in a flat with 2 other Elders.

His first area is Reinach, Switzerland as mentioned in this earlier post.  It has a branch of about 60 members.

He's 'enjoying' the language differences between German and Swiss German. I know he'll get the hang of it.

Jacob shares this "SWISS GERMAN IS IMPOSSIBLE. I finally realised why the Lord told me I'd be going to a foreign speaking mission. It's likely I'll stay here for a least a year in switzerland, maybe longer... my German is fantastic, except its not recognised as a valid language as far as this dialect is concerned."  haha

... this reminds me of the film 'The Best Two Years' ...

"Elder, that's not the language they taught me in the MTC." haha

I love this film ... will have to watch it again!!

I had a lovely message from Elder Hakken's mum yesterday too. She shared this experience our sons had together ....

"We had a cool experience. On Friday, we wanted to go door to door. I let Elder Robertson choose. We walked a little bit, then went back and he picked a place to start. We were going to open the gate and go up the walk-way when the door handle moved. We paused, then a man came out, locked his door and we got to talk to him. He said that he is leaving but if we want, we can come back tomorrow! His first door on his mission, it just opened itself and we made an appointment. So we met on Saturday and had a good appointment ...."  

I treasure every bit of information I can get my hands on!!  

Today I have written him a letter to send by 'snail post'.  Emails are great, but it's nice to have something to reread - should he choose to!!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Greenie Package

Well Elder Robertson is on his 19th day as a missionary.  I am anxiously waiting for his email as it's P-day.

I've been putting together his first package.  As he's a 'greenie' all things must be GREEN!

Considering I told him to eat healthy and drink loads of water ... I should have sent him vegetables instead! haha  Somehow I don't think that would be as well received!! It is full of .... ENERGY, right???

... and I'm still waiting for my email! SIGH!

Looking a little plain! ...

Ready to go .... 

Hope it's not long until he gets it!! =)

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Mission Blog ...

It really pays to keep checking email!! Sister Miles runs a mission blog and has sent me (and the other new missionary mums) the link.  So lovely to be able to catch photos of Elder Robertson as he enters the mission field and serves.

Here are some more photos!! =)

Preston MTC group at Munich airport

I will go, I will do ...

Lots of Learning and a little camera shy!! Jacob's the one who's hiding his face.

20 Minute power nap ... 

I'm still trying to work out if the Elder second back on the left is Elder Robertson.  I really should have looked at the back of his head more!! haha

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Mission Home ... Finally photographs!

At midnight last night Sister Miles was busy sending parents emails with photos attached.  I am so grateful to her.  I have been so looking forward to knowing where Jacob's first area will be and what he looks like in that missionary badge!! haha  Finally we have information and lovely photographs!

With President and Sister Miles in Munich (München)
Doesn't he look good?! He looks so mature! I am so proud of him!!

His first area is Reinach, Switzerland.  (There's more information in the link there.) 

Reinach is not far over the border from Germany, where the 'A' is situated on the map.

This is only 3 hours 20 minutes away from home! 

Happy Elder Robertson

Sharing 'das Buch Mormon'
Straight to work!! You can just about see his eyes!! 

He'll be trained by Elder Nakken.  Not sure what nationality he is yet, I look forward to my email on Monday from Jacob in the hopes he thinks to tell me EVERYTHING.  It may be time to send him a questionnaire to ensure I get the information I want!

Today he will travel to his first area ...

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Elder Robertson enters the Mission Field.

Yesterday I received an even shorter email from Jacob letting us know he was OK and that he will be be flying out to Munich today.  My heart misses a beat every time I see his name show up in my emails.

He must have had a really early start today as his flight left at 7.55am from Manchester to Munich where the mission home is.  He landed a little earlier than scheduled at 9.45am.

He is now in the mission field! By now he will have met his Mission President and wife, President & Sister Miles.  He will know who is companion is and his first area he will be serving in.  I can't wait to find out.  I am so excited for him.  Watch this space for the news!! X