Wednesday, 8 October 2014

General Conf Weekend and Baptism date set.

Heilbronn, Germany is still home to Elder Robertson and he is loving his time there.

He's had some great experiences serving in Germany.

I received emails with photos included on Sunday of him from a member in the ward there in Heilbronn.  He is looking very happy and confident.  This really makes me happy.

Preparing Maultasche. 

Looking pleased with the results!
Monday is still my favourite day so I can hear from him via email.  I love to 'hear' how he is, the challenges he faces and how he deals with that and how much growth he makes from week to week.  Here's a snippet from this weeks email.

 I cannot believe how fast the time is escaping us!!

Conference weekend has been great. We've all had to stay in the one apartment as a district for travel convieniences this weekend and so its been very spiritual and enjoyable. My favourite parts cannot all be include in this email... I must have taken 20+ pages of notes in a 24 hour period, either for personal worth or useful doctrines. My favourite topics that were touched upon were the overlapping themes of gaining a personal testimony and relationship with God, and the fact that no personal beliefs or opinions can affect the truth. It is the greatest truth that truth stands alone and self supported in existence, unalterable by any being, that even God has his perfect sphere of following these unanimous truths that govern us all, and knows that we must do the same to enjoy that what he now enjoys.

With the  Zanders we made what's called "Maultaschen", a Schwäbisch delicacy... though a simple staple meal here in south Germany. We also grilled sausages on a grill last night on the apartment balcony after General Conference and I was the grill master and took one for the team. So I have been cooking some stuff and getting somewhat confident in the kitchen. I still make mom's bolognase every now and again, but have also got a little creative with changing it slightly which also tastes very good. I am a lot more open to many more foods and certain foods I'll no longer avoid out of personal choice. I even eat eggs and mushrooms of my own choice now... sometimes.
I'm doing very well health wise. I haven't had any problems since my shoulder, and I feel that I had done that by sleeping funny. I'm keeping myself safe and well fed and I'm retaining a weight of about 75kg which is notably 5kg more than what I left as. I'm trying to get into a better training program for my morning sport in preparation for the last 6 months which helps missonaries get back in shape before they go home. We'll see how that goes.

We are excited to have set this baptismal date. It's been a long time since this man was found and taught, trying to fit everything in and helping this man get ready for setting a baptismal date. Now is the tense part though, as you may well know; we have to make sure that everything he is doing is in line with the guidelines set by Christ through the bretheren as explained in Preach My Gospel and D&C 20:37, and its now time to move onto the commandments. So, its crack down time but we're really excited for the progress that has taken place. It has to be indebted to the Lord though and His influence has been evident in our work with J. Everything has fallen into place and this last appointment was more or less what we were banking on. We were aiming for the result that we had at the end of the lesson and it came from J himself. I really do feel as though the spirit is key to this work and if we feel like one way of doing things is how it is supposed to be done, than we have forgotten the principle of unique identity in the creation.
Besides that, the work is going well. There's still plenty of things to do and plenty of areas to work on to get the ball rolling faster. We have been working with a few new people and there is a definite change of heart in many of our less-actives with whom we are working. For example, I was meeting with Br. E on exchange with Elder G to accompany me. The Spirit was there and we shared Alma 32:27 with him which completely touhed his situation and opened his heart to pondering and he even thanked us for the visit after I had thanked him for letting us come visit with him.  

I am so happy that Tom will be getting baptised soon and I'm positive that we were all sent to be in this family because exactly that would be provided for us to make the correct choices, should we wish to, to become the people God intends us to become, even like Him. It is going to be a great opportunity to get people to come to church and learn more about our beliefs, especially priesthood power, revelation, the restoration.  

I'm sure the other boys have been doing well and that they are keeping up the good work. Heber seems to be doing great with Pien.  
You're all brilliant, and I pray that this week you can all keep who you are in your rememberence, learn of our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ, and thereby learn more of our relationship with them as to who we really are and our purpose here on Earth.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Heilbronn with Elder Bartholomew

With an extended stay in the UK and school just back today ... I have sadly neglected Elder Robertson's blog.  So much has happened too!

The last blog post way back in {cringe} JUNE, shows that Elder Robertson had just been transferred to Bern.  Sadly he was only there for one transfer (6 weeks ish) and was transferred to Heilbronn, Germany.  His new companion is Elder Bartholomew who is from the US.  They are getting along really well.  Both of them will be attending BYU together next year! =)

Labouring in the Lord's Vineyard of Heilbronn, Germany

I happened upon Elder Bartholomew's blog yesterday and he gave a great description on how these two met up on transfer day so I will share his account of that ...

"we had to wait all day in Stuttgart for our new companions to get there- then Elder Robertson came! i feel bad for the guy- he spent 8 hours in a train coming up from Bern! but we got home to apartment, threw his bags inside, and ran straight back out the door for our first appointment! it was a great way to start our comp! hit the ground running! 
Elder Robertson is from Birmingham, England- but his dad works for the church in Frankfurt, so he has been living there since 2008. Its weird because his house is like an hour and a half away from here..... but we dont let that distract us! he is also taller than me- that doesnt happen too often! He is a man of many talents- drawing, singing, soccer (football as the euros call it...) and that kinda of stuff. hes a way funny guy. not goofy... more... devious. its pretty fun."

SINGING??? He definitely gets that deviousness from his mother!! haha  A LOT more information than I received from Elder R himself.  

Elder Robertson has been talking about their main investigator 'N'.  She's from Thailand.  N would like to be baptised, but they are taking things at her pace and making sure she understands things that are taught.  Appointments have been a little difficult the last week or so but this one experience they had with her is really special.  N came to church and really loved it.  Members picked her up and she quickly made friends with lots of the members.  She fit in really well, especially with the JAE (YSA).  She had a great experience with a non member friend of hers who was having some challenges with relationships and school.  N prayed about how she could help him.  Then she went and visited him, taught him how to pray and they then prayed together that he could pass his test.  She has a testimony of prayer!! =)  She has invited him to learn more about the gospel and will hopefully come to church with her.

Eventually Elder Robertson received his birthday package.  I was very grateful to Pres Kohler who helped dig out the package that had been mislaid in the mission office.  Elder Robertson says it like this ...

Thank you ever so much for all of my stuff!! Despite your best efforts not to spoil me I did get both packages in a week. I hadn't heard anything from the office except that which you had said in your last email. I also got my apple charger. I guess that at time things just get misplaced with all the post that actually arrives there. We had a funny experience that day when the package arrived. A delivery man walked past our window (we live on the ground floor) and was carrying a large package. I caught a glimpse of the package and barely made out the family name on the side of the white box. I excitedly said to ELder Bartholomew, "That package has got my name on it", though remained somewhat skeptical in case I had just wishingly misread it. He on the other hand, didn't believe me in the slightest, telling me that it "wasn't my package". After a little difficulty finding the last name on the bells, the delivery man must have got inside and found my full name on the postbox. After he had delivered it, Elder Bartholomew was taken aback that I had actually seen my name on the package.

My shoes, that you sent me, are exactly the same as the ones which I threw out, except that they're brown. I just thought it somewhat comical that they were the same style as the last. Thank you for getting me those. I've finally picked up the hem on one pair of my suit trousers from the suit that you got me last Christmas so I'll be able to put the shoes to use now!!

Celebrating his birthday a month late ... it's all part of the mission experience.

If you would like to learn more about what Elder Robertson is teaching whilst serving as a full-time missionary, please ask or click on the links on the right hand side.  There you will find information on our beliefs and you can also order a free copy of 'Das Buch Mormon' (The Book of Mormon).

Das Buch Mormon - The Book of Mormon is another testimony of Jesus Christ

Monday, 23 June 2014

First week in Bern 2

Elder Robertson's first few days in Bern.  Bern is good. It's a beautiful city. It's been a slower start than expected though. 

Transfers went well, Elder Martin and I missed our train,  but we made the most of the extra time together and had a good laugh in the train and still got there in good time. We always meet up with all the others that are transferring in Zürich and then meet our new comps and head off to our areas after a good chat and catchup with a few friendly faces.
Elder Schiffer seems like an honest and hardworking guy. He's vegetarian. My German is pretty good and Elder Schiffer can only speak german so it's bound to get a lot better.
The teaching pool in Bern was pretty good. When I was told that there was a lot of work to be done, I didn't quite grasp that it would be pretty much the same as most of the areas I'd been in. We have a couple of investigators that we aren't able to reach at the moment and a lot of people that need contacting again. The ward is also small, and eating appointments are thin on the ground. So there's lots of work to be done, and lots of progress to be made. I hope to be able to make it better like in Luzern.
I am missing Elder Martin, It was a lot of fun with him. The zone leaders are also in our area, but in a different apartment, which is good seeing them quite often. The apartment is quiet and gives you a lot more time to think and get things done without another two missionaries around then having to coordinate things constantly such as simplicities as a showering rota.
We have eight missionaries in the district. Sister Gilmore is not in the district though her area borders ours. Elder Martin is actually in her district, so he's not too far away either. We're probably going to end up planning having some cool P-days together.  We have six elders and two sisters in the district. We have four in Bern, two in Interlaken and the two sisters from Thun (which is German for Tuna; they actually named a place after a fish :D)
Anyway, it's another fresh new start and there's lots to be done...
We're emailing from the JAE (YSA) center. There's some fantastic equipment, pool table, football table and tabletennis stuff, but the senior couple have banned us from using it.  But it would be a great missionary tool too. I am also a "JAE missionary" here like I was in Basel. They probably want to be safer than sorry. They're a really nice couple though from America and have been here for quite a while I believe.  I don't know their names yet, I'll meet them tomorrow for the first time.
I don't think we're doing much today... just settling in and getting things sorted. Maybe we'll look around the city. Everything is really close to us here though. The church is a couple of houses down the street (we don't have our own building here) and the food shop (Denner) is next door.. its very similar to Penny in Germany.

I'll end up taking some pictures. The apartment is relatively clean. I just need to clean my desk and one or two other bits. 

I'm looking forward to sending his 9 months to go package this week!! =) 

Friday, 20 June 2014

Surprise Transfer to Bern

I was expecting Elder Robertson's companion in Basel, Elder Martin, to transfer this transfer: but I was really surprised to hear that Elder Robertson would be transferring TOO!

He's off to Bern serving in Bern 2.  He will have a German companion, Elder Schiffer.

Here's some news from Elder Robertson ...

This week has been a good week. Transfer calls have been a bit of a shock though. Due to the dropping number of missionaries in the field (though they are expected to pick up again in summer) that they've started having to close four man areas, and Basel has been elected for the next to be reduced. This has then resulted in me and Elder Martin leaving Basel and going to new areas. He's headed off to Biel 1 and I'm off to Bern 2. I was just about getting used to Basel and it's weird leaving after only 3 months time. I'll be working with another German, Elder Schiffer. It will give me another opportunity to improve my German too!!

Church was strange. Its normally odd when you leave but the news hadn't quite gotten round to everyone yet and so we weren't asked to give our testimonies and didn't really have too many people to say goodbye to. We also had an investigator turn up to church that had stopped meeting with us (before I'd arrived). All of a sudden, now we're leaving, she came to church with him. We handed her straight over to the other Basel elders as we're in closing down mode. These next couple of days are basically us trying to sort everything out before we leave.

The funniest thing that has happened this week was Elder Martin's surprise B-day party that the members wanted to throw for him, because he was leaving, though his birthday is this coming Sunday. I've had to keep it a secret for about 2-3 weeks, then atop it all, people were running late for the party so I had to delay Elder Martin in the apartment and then he suggested we go see some members in an apartment block not too far away who just so happened to be at the party, so I threw a strop to get him to stay there until the call came to get him to the chapel and then despite a few signs, he still didn't catch on and was definitely surprised. Finally everything clicked and he realised I wasn't annoyed with him and why I'd refused to do something we'd normally just do.

It is weird getting so close to the change over with President and Sister Miles soon to leave and President and Sister Kohler to arrive in 10 days now. President Miles has only ever spoken good things about President Kohler so I think the missionaries in general are looking forward to his arrival, anxious to see the differences in his approach to leadership here and the potential changes that may be made. 


Monday, 16 June 2014

Highest point

This is from last Tuesday 10th June.

On Monday I got a quick message saying they would be emailing on Tuesday due to the holiday.  It was getting rather late on the Tuesday and I was wondering if the email would come, seemed as though I had just resigned myself to thinking it wouldn't, and at least I knew he was fit and well from the few sentences the day before, when it finally arrived ... and I have photos!! =)

It's been a good and interesting week this week. Its also been very hot here too. The shorts are saving me a lot as its been stiflingly hot the past weekend reaching up to 37 degrees here in Basel. 

I did get my package, thanks. There was a lot more in there than I expected!! It was a great motivator and a good end to the weekend. The Heinigers are the Senior Missionaries in our area. They're responsible for running the YSA center here in Basel and try to do what missionary work they can with the YSA.  Elder Heiniger is a good man and does his best to contribute and participate where he can and Sister Heiniger is lovely always looking out for everyone she can. They prepare the food at Institute and make sandwiches for us Elders at our District Meetings.  They are doing a great job!

Zone Conference was also very good. It was also the leaving conference of President and Sister Miles. They gave us a disk full of photos from the mission that Sister Miles had taken throughout their time here. Elder Martin has started looking through it, though there doesn't seem to be much of them from Switzerland. I'll have to look through it to see if there's any of me and send them to you. It was a very good meeting but also a little weird thinking that this would be the last time we'd see President and Sister Miles at a meeting with us. It was also good seeing a lot of missionaries again after a long time.

This week I also had an exchange with Elder Pugh. It was fun working with a good friend and being in an area that we both knew as I went to Reinach to work with him. We went to visit a family that had enjoyed having me around for their family home evenings and we did that again with them. It was funny to see the kids again after a year and how similar it was to when I had been there myself. It was a very strange feeling being back and experiencing that again. 

P-Day with their Ward Mission Leader (GML) 

Höchster Punkt des Kantons Basel-Landschaft

This is what we ended up doing with him yesterday: we went on a really long hike that he'd invited us to do. We got to the highest point within the state or kanton in German and then saw a waterfall on the way down. 

In a cable car ...  I thought he said HIKE! haha  I miss this handsome face!! 

Elder Robertson was also able to have a couple of mins to email his little brother.  Here's a snippet ..

Love the special bonds our boys have.  

I am waiting for this weeks!!

Bis Später!!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Sunday, the most wierdest, miracle packed day!

Nothing makes my Monday like getting email from Elder Robertson.  I've really missed him this week, so I've been extra keen to hear from him. The past few weeks he's spoken of how well he & Elder Martin get on and work together, but how hard it is trying to build a teaching pool in this area.

Here's a few lines from today's email ....

I haven't got my package yet. I've been informed this morning that Stephan has my package, and I've asked the other two to pick it up or me if that's possible. I've been really craving my shorts since the last package, haha!!

I'm doing well. Elder Martin is also doing well. The work here is picking up. Our Sunday was the weirdest but most miracle packed day we had together here in Basel. So there's this man that has been declared clinically insane by the Swiss authorities or something who was a former investigator here in Basel. Anyway, he stands up in the middle of the testimony meeting and declares that he's been made prisoner here in Switzerland. Me and Elder Martin then also have to prevent what Elder Martin suspected to become a fight and this guy starts complaining about his life that he has no money and can't find a job and that besides other things, but then also asks us about the war in Iraq and claimed to be some guy that would open the book of life at judgement day. He's also claimed to be Christ and Elder Martin has had disturbing experiences in previous appointments. We ended up teaching him a lesson anyway, but thanks to the commotion and having him go outside and talking to him there, we found a man named G who had a bunch of questions which we were then able to answer and set up a return appointment for this Thursday. So I guess that these things happened for a reason and that obviously the Lord wanted to have contact with this man and perhaps needed to provide us with a bit of drama to simply go outside to a few benches to where this man was sitting. It was also the most spiritual Sunday I've had in Basel so far which does concern me seeing as though it was so irregular 
for a Sabbath day.

Saturday was good. Wes didn't show up although I was expecting him to. The Elders from Pratteln also come to this activity and they had an investigator come and play with us. We're still working on it, trying to get some more of the YSA to come out and bring their friends. We got a good number of people telling us that they would come this last Saturday but then they never showed up which was fairly disappointing.

It's hard getting referrals from members here in Switzerland. Not sure exactly why the reason is, but even suggesting family mission plans to some families [is difficult] and they explain how they've "done this before" and it didn't work. Goal setting isn't a one time decision with a one time effort with the expectation for immediate results. It's setting personal standards and desired achievements and trying over a set period of time to achieve them with constant reassessments of our personal progress.

 I think this is also key to our own personal salvation, setting the goals and striving for them to acquire the attributes and regulations that we need to attain our exaltation and come back to our Heavenly Father. I believe that the ability to decide for ourselves the way that our lives will lead is the greatest sign of His infinite love as he supports us in making our personal choices.

We were thinking about going to the temple this weekend, but I'm not sure exactly when with the other appointments we have scheduled. I'm also wondering if with the taking place of stake conference whether we will be in Zollikofen on the Saturday to attend the priesthood session. I know that the main meeting is broadcast for us in the Pratteln Ward.

I love you loads and hope that you have a great week.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Mother's Day Skype ... 2014

Mother's Day Skype 2014

.... Our family portrait until Christmas time!!! I LOVED this Skype.  Elder Robertson was so relaxed and happy.  It was so wonderful to see how much he is enjoying being a missionary and all of the trials and blessings that come from serving.

We also got to see his companion, Elder Martin.  They are really good friends. I loved seeing how they interacted with each other.

This is the screen shot I got when I asked them to pose.  They have their conference ties on.

Here they are in their Conference Ties.

When I expressed that I was worried about not being able to set up Skype time and my fear of him not worrying about it as his comp has skyped home in March for the British Mother's Day, he reassured me that he would not think like that.  I think he loves me!! haha  It seems like just yesterday that we said our goodbyes, but years since he's been home.  It is such an unusual feeling.  I can report there were no tears shed this time. I was just so happy seeing him so happy!!  I really must share time with the others at Christmas. I always plan to walk away, but it seems physically impossible at the time!!

Well the time was not long enough, and I could have spoken to him all day.  I couldn't hang up either, and so left that to his youngest brother, Thomas to do!!

Just 8 months until Christmas Skype, which will actually be our last missionary Skype with Elder Robertson.  That seems like his mission has just gone by soooo fast!!

His email on the Monday was brief as not much had happened over night, thankfully!

Here's parts of it ...

Obviously after our long chat yesterday, I don't have much news either. Skyping doesn't make me that homesick. It does make me realise how much it means to me to have such a great family and how much I really do miss you, but not homesick.  

Today, we'll be going out with Stephan Schmidt and "Elder" Nakken and his family. I'll have to nip home to get my camera as I forgot to bring it. I do however have my other SD card with me with my photos on, so don't worry... you'll get a couple today. Other than that, I'm doing well as you've seen. Having lots of fun and working hard.

The picture is me and elder meyer with the GML or ward mission leader ("Gemeinde Missions Leiter" auf deutsch). I'll send you a couple more photos in other emails!! 

Anyway, I hope you're all doing well, Iove you all loads and miss you!!

I told him no packages until I get photos, I guess it worked!! haha

These are from his last area in Luzern, enjoy the pics!!!

Luzern, Switzerland

Elder Robertson and 'C' who was recently baptised!  They are such close friends.

Elder Meyers, C and Elder Robertson after the baptism

Monday, 5 May 2014

Early morning email!!

Last week the mission was blessed with a mission tour from Elder & Sister Dyches.  I was so happy to hear Elder Robertson's excitement of the forthcoming conference in last weeks email.

Yesterday at church, Elder Dyches and I made eye contact as he sat down on the stand.  He went to stand up and looked at the clock, there was only 5 minutes to go before the meeting started.  He decided to jump up to come and see me anyhow.  I leapt out of my seat and met him half way: which ended up right at the front by the pulpit where he threw open his arms and gave me a hug by proxy from Elder Robertson.  I was so grateful   who am I kidding, I was gratefully ecstatic!! haha

As missionary mums, (and I might add, some dads) we become scavengers of information and anyone, anytime and anything who may have seen, heard or touched the mission or missionary ... we want to collect it all!! Elder Dyches gave a lovely report on how he (Elder Robertson) was doing and I was really touched that he would take the time to report back, especially with so few minutes before the meeting started!!  What amazing leaders we have to to consecrate so much to serve us and our missionaries.

Photo thanks to Sister Miles!!! .... It's like playing 'Where's Wally'!!

This week he emailed me before I got chance to send mine.  I usually do Sunday evening but thought I'd have time to do it Monday morning .... ooopps!!

I've managed to have a little time emailing back and forth this morning.  It's meant I have most of my questions answered, but there's no sniff of a photo!!

His main concern with the area is finding people to teach.  I've suggested he try and get some ward activities up and running.  It's a good place for us to bring our friends and family, to unify as members and where the missionaries can meet our friends and should they be interested in hearing about the gospel, it can go on from there.  He is hoping to reconnect with a few people in the area that he has met recently.

He loves serving with Elder Martin!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Service Projects

I was asked in Church on Sunday, 'Are you Elder Robertson's mum?' I think she was surprised at how excited I was to meet her, poor girl!! She has been very kind in feeding the missionaries and providing them with service projects.
A member in Basel who introduced herself on Sunday.

It's always good to meet friends they make whilst serving as it makes you feel close to your missionary!

Email Monday came and I am so impressed with Elder Robertson, despite his short emails home, lack of information and photos and that he doesn't answer any questions, he has never missed one Monday's email.  It's always good to hear from him.

This week, he talks a bit about the service opportunities and projects in the area.  

We've had a good week this week. We've had a lot of service projects going on here in Basel. I'm still aching from one of them as we played sport in the morning then helped move a load of furniture for a member moving house and then helped an investigator move his self made shed as best as possible to the other side of the garden. I was finished after that. I still am, but it was fun being able to lend our services.  We had a pretty cool experience last week as we were on a really packed train, due to delays, and then decided to give up our four seats and offer them to elderly women standing around. It was only a small act of service but as one woman got out she slipped Elder Martin 50 francs for the favour (probably to split between us all) but it was interesting to see such a large worldly blessing for such a simple act of service that used to be expected only a few years back. 

Elder Dyches is visiting the whole mission this week. We'll be seeing him on Wednesday. All the missionaries in Switzerland will be coming together in Zürich for the occasion. It will be great to be able to see everyone again and be spiritually uplifted at the same time. I can't wait to see what topics will be spoken about and what effects it may have considering the upcoming changes within the mission. There's been many changes recently in District and Zone boundaries.

Time has become quite the pressing matter in missionary work, and is especially in these the "last days". Knowing that our time is limited and that the time will come as expressed in the scriptures when the harvest will be over and there will be no more harvest, it is an interesting consideration of how the time we have as a missionary can be used and what would be more effective.  

I do struggle at times as I am constantly finding myself in appointments with only Spanish speaking people and through a translator and the presence of all four of us, I struggle to be an effective tool in the hands of the Lord. I'm recognizing the differences a certain situation can make in the effectivity of the spirit. I'm trying to now get a new feeling of how I fit into these new situations and can really bring the spirit into these circumstances, knowing that there is not just one way in which the spirit works.

I got a photo from another missionary mum of the four Basel missionaries together at a dinner appointment this week ...

Elder Robertson. Carr. Martin and .... ooops!! Need to learn the fourth missionary's name! 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Because of Him

Did you get a chance to check out the video the church had posted on concerning Easter? I thought that it was a good one and we shared it a couple of times as a spiritual thought and then everyone saw it at church. I would recommend checking it out for family home evening if you haven't yet.

We had used it for Family Home Evening already.  Watch it, it is full of love and hope! 

Having to rely on the lovely Wes for photos!!
Elder Martin, Elder Robertson & Wes

This week I still haven't any photos from Elder Robertson, but his friend's parents live in the area so whilst visiting, he took this.  They'd been playing football with a couple of youth in the area.

Everything is going great here in Basel. The focus of missionary work seems to be very member orientated in this neck of the woods, so we are getting a good number of eating appointments. I did gain a couple of kilos these last few weeks but the waist bands are holding out fortunately. Clothing is all still holding out and I'm good for shoes, though I can see me throwing one of the pairs away after summer as I don't expect them to last that long, I have been wearing them more and so they appear a little more tattered than the others. 

(ME:I'm thinking don't throw them, I want to bronze them!!   ) 

Yeah, we had a few potentials at the football activity, we met them last week, they turned up and asked me if they could play and so we invited them to and told them that they could come back evey week if they wanted to, so they came back again this week. Hopefully we'll be able to get to teach them soon. The football activity is quite an old thing, we did it whilst I was in Reinach and normally its not too successful as we can't get many of the youth or YSAs out to it, partly because there's not too many of them, but it has its uses obviously.

Easter package ... ready to hand over to Stephan in Basel

Easter was great. I did get the cards thanks for them!! The members were thin on the ground on Sunday though. We got a lot of chocolate so we're all up to our necks in it and sweets, which isn't too good for some of us. Elder Pugh is now back in Reinach. His companion returned on Friday. So with everything that been going on this week its been a bit crazy. We all took turns with Elder Pugh in Reinach fulfilling our exchanges to help the work go along and then organising the switches in between appointments.

Heber is being a good missionary!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Hump Day

This week will mark the year mark of Elder Robertson's missionary service.  Generally the males serve for a total of 2 years whilst the females serve for a period of 18 months.  It is known as 'Hump Day'.  I was wanting to do something to mark the day so I enlisted the help of some friends and family and asked them to take a photo of themselves holding a particular letter, eventually spelling 'HAPPY HUMP DAY ELDER ROBERTSON'  I was so grateful to those that joined in and really put a lot of thought into what they were doing.

Our immediate family spelled out the 'HAPPY' part.  We tried to do our letters that showed our own interests.

Heber 'H' with his guitars
Dad with 'a' shaped cookie, he loves cooking/baking and cookies!
Me the mama with 'P' made out of lights
Thomas also with a 'P' and jumping as he never sits still
Matty with a 'Y' out of lego ... he and Elder Robertson have a joint love the lego!

But on it's own it would not have been as effective as the whole thing, so thank you to everyone who took the time in their busy schedules to add to the 'Happy Hump Day' banner.  Here's the finished thing ....

Happy Hump Day Elder Robertson

This week it seems like Elder Robertson has been looked after well in Basel and has had a dinner appointment every day.  I am so thankful for the members there for taking care of him and Elder Martin.  He's happy he's putting on a bit of weight! =)

My first week in Basel has been a good one, we've been busy though not much has happened. All of our "investigators" disappeared just before I arrived so we have to formulate a plan to find some more. We're working with some cool people, mostly members, and hoping to receive more referrals from them. As a missionary that's one of our biggest goals; to get referrals from members and work with them to bring their friends to the truth. Me and Elder Martin get along very well. Elder Pugh is now working temporarily with the other companionship in Basel, so there's five of us in the apartment. It's quite a laugh in the apartment.

After a trip to Switzerland last weekend, we had some Swiss Francs left over and so I sent them onto Elder Robertson, he was very grateful ... Switzerland is very expensive!! 

Origami Shirt made out of Swiss Francs (CHF)
Overall he's had a great week, enjoying the new ward and area, his new companion and the other missionaries in the apartment.

'C' was confirmed on Sunday and so we are extremely happy for him to have had these experiences and of those experiences yet to come.  

Thursday, 10 April 2014

'C' is baptized

Elder Robertson in Luzern

This week has seen Elder Robertson transfer from Luzern to Basel.  I know he has loved Luzern as he has served and loved the people there.  This ends his time with Elder Meyer (who he trained and loved) and sees him starting his time in Basel serving with Elder Martin.

He was able to travel back to Luzern on Sunday to see a 'C' be baptised.  They have become really good friends as they have shared many spiritual experiences together in the last 7 months.  I am reminded of one of my all time favourite scriptures "Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together." D&C 50:22  It is such a joy to see the people we love enter the waters of baptism.

We were able to drop some packages for him with a friend he made last year whilst serving in a neighbouring area.

Us with Stephan

It was really good of him to help us with getting packages to Elder Robertson.  He understood that weren't to see each other and made sure we were able to keep the rules.  After a short chat and lots of thank you's, he told us we had to leave because Elder Robertson was meeting him at the train station to collect them within minutes.  So we left, me with tears in my eyes at the realisation of just how close he was and we continued on our way to Bern.

Elder Robertson said in his email how he was weird to think we had just been there ...

It was nice to look at the things he would be looking at for the upcoming weeks/months.

He had received the conference ties I'd sent to him and Elder Martin to his apartment ...

Conference Ties

'It was funny to turn up to Basel with all of my stuff and then find the ties there. They were great. Both Elder Martin and I are grateful for those.'

Monday, 24 March 2014

Loving Luzern and catching up ....

So sorry, the blog has been neglected the last few weeks.   I'm just going to throw the highlights into one post to catch up.

Hold on .... it's coming!

17 Feb 14

He was very happy to be staying in Luzern.  He loves the area and the people.  The weather is nice enough he can leave the apartment in just a jumper.

He'd had a full week, " ...  we had zone conference all day on Tuesday, a temple trip on Thursday and a Finding Day on Saturday, in which helped us find 15 new contacts for our area that we can hopefully start teaching this week.  One of them actually came to church yesterday, got a book of mormon and we will begin to help him to know more about the church and our message during our appointments on Tues. and Thurs. this week. We also have many member appointments and have a lot to do otherwise this week. Tuesday especially seems jam packed which I love!!

He and Elder Meyer are really getting on well.  I love to hear how unified they are.  'We had a very spiritual appointment with him [C] on Saturday after the finding day. Elder Meyer turned to me after the lesson and thanked me for my testimony and mentioned how he really felt the spirit, which for me was humourous as I had felt the same about his testimony. Our method of teaching is improving greatly and there is increasing unity between us. I'm very pleased about all this, especially as there's been a little bit of a theme going on about pefection being our goal, but not an immediate expectation, and instead to concentrate on the continuous refinement process of improvement. 

24 Feb 14
He starts off with telling us about his good week: 'My week has been a good one; Elder Meyer and myself are doing the best we can to improvise and get as much done as possible. It's been tough. It feels a little counter-effective having certain things happen that take us away from the missionary work in our area; long travel times, and a choir practise before the Saturday session of Stake Conference .... it makes it seem a lot more difficult to hasten the work with such a restrain on the short time period we have already. Nevertheless we had a good number of appointments and a lot of member contact which I'm chuffed about. The area is definitely improving ...'.

Unfortunately we haven't met 'C' recently. He was ill this week and with the Saturday session of Stake Conference, an appointment wasn't possible. We do however have two arranged for this week and this week seems to be like a  good jump back into the usual flow of things, even as if we are just continuing onwards from where we left off a week previously without the oddities of life getting involved with this important work. Hopefully we'll be having many appointments and great spiritual nourishment for not only ourselves but those we teach too. 

I'm quite pleased for Heber and his ordination to the office of Elder. He does seem to be making fantastic progress and development spiritually.  

Letters came from Thomas and Matty this week.  Although he'd still like to hear more from Heber. '...he (Heber) did write to me this week and Matty sent me a considerably longer and somewhat more detailed e-mail than usual. They are all growing into fine young men indeed!!    

That's great that both Ammon and Ashley are both heading in that direction and are making great progress!!  

I've learnt how important my personal studies are so I can find the answers, know what I believe, and teach the truth with the convincing evidence from above to let these people feel the spirit and the honesty and undeniable truth contained within The Church. This truly is His Church and this is His gospel. Jesus Christ is our Saviour and Redeemer, the very Son and only Begotten of God that came to earth to relieve us from the burdens we are to carry in this world. To know that alone is so great a blessing, to truly begin to understand His Atonement.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

No complaints! ...

I haven't counted weeks and months since Elder Robertson left.  I am quite happy that when people ask me how long he's been serving, I have to count the months on my fingers.  This week it seems I have had that question quite a few times so the amount of time has stuck in my head! In just 3 days Elder Robertson will have been serving for 10 months.  I seriously can't believe how fast it has gone. I miss him everyday but would not take this experience away from him.  He is learning so much and I love reading about his experiences and growth from week to week.  He is amazing!!

Now I'm even intrigued to how many weeks that actually is ... I'm going to count ... If i got it right, 43 weeks and 2 days.  Oh my!! I think I'm better just with months!!

This week I was prepared and sent Elder Robertson's email on Sunday evening ready for him to open on Monday.  So glad I did, as our internet provider was upgrading our connection and we were down for two days.  It was hard not connecting. Finally I read his email later that evening and here's a few snippets of that ...

First things first: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM (in advance) I will be sending a card, though as I have not yet done it, it may come  a little later... but it will get there.

Things are going well over here. One investigator is a very deep thinking and a calm collected character, so I can relate to him, somewhat...

Christopher realises that its not going to happen on the 16th. the baptismal interview had have to have been yesterday for it to work out and with him not feeling prepared for the questions ( and him being sick ) it just didn't seem right. We challenged (our investigator) to pray about his initial date that he thought about and gave him the week to think about it so that when he comes to a decision of these things, he can be certain that its the right answer. We're trying to address everything, step by step, that may come into question after his baptism and being a fully fledged member, so we addressed the priesthood, what it is and the organisation of it. That went well. 

G is somewhat determined to stay catholic, (although) we have been teaching him more. I sometimes wonder how that, although the Catholic direction is probably the best preparation you (mum) could have to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, its also the largest trap to those seeking truth but caught up in the traditions of the world.

District P-day was cool... I'll be sending my SD card this week with all the photos on it. It worked out pretty well as you'll be able to see from the photos. I did also get the conference magazines, and its great to be able to read these talks and study from them. My learning and understanding is always enriched through studying the talks of the phophets and apostles.

We go to the temple once every transfer still. We're almost the same time away, but just in a different direction being in Luzern. We're actually going there on Thursday to do a session. We have zone conference tomorrow as well so I think I'll get my package then. I do however need a few things ....  I would also like to know if it would be possible to send my little green iPod nano to me so I can put church music on it that we could listen to? There may be a few other things I would either need or like but I'll send a list with the letter...

I need to cut my hair today... its a little longer than I had anticipated, but not too long. We'll also be buying new chairs for our apartment. We got permission to as the ones we have are falling apart and leave little yellow bits of foam everywhere!!! So we'll take a trip to ikea today... :D

Besides that, all is going great, the work is moving forward and its fun too so, no complaints...

I love you and miss you,

Only two more sleeps until Monday .... 

Friday, 7 February 2014

Valentines Package sent and short email!

Last week I sent off the Valentine package for Elder Robertson.  I have sent it to the mission office and then he will probably receive it at zone conference next week.

Here's some of what went in ... 

'We flippin' love you', including love hearts and chocolate ...

I included a talk entitled 'The Measure of Our Hearts' given by Marvin J Ashton.  You can read the talk by clicking on here.

It was fun putting it together.  I see so many ideas on Pinterest and then can't limit myself to just one! 

Elder Robertson's email came in early for him this week.  He gave us names of three investigators to include in our prayers.  One of his investigators is doing really well and another 'has visited Church, we get to teach him and help him to understand the whole authority principle. He's definitely a long term project, but he's the most God- orientated man I've met in Luzern, really humble and believe it or not, more sociable than our Heber!!'

Today we're off to see a mountain, but its foggy. I didn't want to cancel it after all the planning and the numerous phone calls I've made to arrange it. Plus I'm hoping that we see a miracle and that the weather clears up a little when we get there... its been known to do that so I'm exercising my faith that it can happen again.

Our week is looking good with a balance of member and investigator appointments. We also have a zone get together this week as our training meeting is on Tuesday. So I guess I may be getting my package then... If not then the comfort is that we have zone conference the week after so I could recieve it then as well.

So although a short email in comparison to other weeks, I was so happy they were getting out together as a district.  I'm exercising my faith that I will get photos soon!! 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Baptismal date set!

27 January

This week really has flown by!! Firstly, i do still need that Liahona/Ensign from the last General Conference. I could print off all the talks but I would be taking a lot of paper, ink and time from the computers... It would be great if you could send me that!!

That's good to hear that the boys are developing well. My week has been a good one, a busy one and also a successful one. It's been tiring, exhausting and a lot of hard work too. We are making great progress with with our investigator! He set his own baptismal date this Sunday, and he picked the 16th of February. I hope it works out as i feel like he is ready for it. If he doesn't feel ready though when the time comes around, we'll just press on and set another goal. We are having members join in with some of our classes for him and building up his realtionships with the brothers here in Luzern. I think its making a great difference for him, and his spiritual growth is coming along really well. We have been really inspired this week on what we can do to help him; our plans have been somewhat changed for us as we've listened to the promptings of the spirit and its really helped us to discern his needs recently. I never worry about him or other investigators on Sunday as the members do a great job on welcoming these visitors and making friendships.

The most spiritual moment of the week may have been district meeting. I have recieved some pretty good comments when I have had assignments to fulfill, or a little talk to give, but this time it was very spiritual and I was very impressed with the development of many of the missionaries that had been given assignments. Most of them I've known since the start of their missions when they arrived in the district. It was very interesting to see how much they've come along. There was a great spirit during that meeting. Besides that I have many good bonding moments with Elder Meyer that are very spiritual. He's also making great progress and taking everything on board quickly.

District Meeting and Interviews

The most disappointing part of my week must have been a lesson we had with a new convert.  We then discussed it with a member of the bishopric on Sunday who seemed to be sympathetic to the cause. It was good to see that it wasn't only us that had seen potential problems arising in the future and we have had a resolve to see how we can combine our efforts to help this man the most.

Training is fun and difficult at the same time. You realise that you have to try harder to be the best that you can be so he can also be the same way, which sometimes means going 110% of the way. It does feel like a push, but as I said, he's taking it well and it feels as though things are running smoothly again here in Luzern, the weeks are beginning to look busier again and miracles are also happening.

I don't think that I need anything right now, though I have come across some music called "sacred piano" by paul cardall, so i thought that maybe that would be something I'd like to try to learn.

Anyway I hope you all have a fantastic week, give my love to the boys.

Son of God.

20 January 14

Things are going well here, last week was a little tough on the appointment side of things, but I guess it happens every now and again that sometimes, things don't quite go the way you plan them to. 

We met with one of our investigators on Sunday to talk about how he can recognise the promptings of the Holy Ghost. We had a member there with us and it made all the difference. He is doing well, and is still progressing. Elder Meyer and myself are certain that he has felt the spirit before and that he just hasn't recognised it. The spirit was really strong in our lesson though and its been interesting to see how the week has turned out with the importance of learning to listen to the spirit. I also did a roleplay with Elder Meyer in preparation for the lesson. After he had practised his bit, I waited a couple of seconds before asking him "Can you feel that?" Although we were only practising, the spirit was really strong there and it bore testimony to us that what Elder Meyer had said was true. It was a cool experience for the both of us.

There's a very good section for you dad, in Ch 8 in PMG about setting goals: one of the most interesting points that I have found is that if have not achieved you goals, not to lower them, but to rather assess why they were not achieved, and then to set goals and plans once more to achieve them and re-dedicate yourself to the work. then when the goals are being achieved, to higher them and stretch yourself more. I also saw a quote whilst on the bus once (they have these little news screens and sometimes there's some interesting facts or quotes), but the quote said that a man who had achieved all of his goals, had set his goals too low.

Elder Meyer and myself are getting along well.  It's like being at home in the same room as Heber so I found that quite amusing!!  I just went to sleep with a smile on my face... 
I've really noticed how sometimes even the little details are things you give up on a mission for the benefit of all those you meet, little traits and characteristics that before hand seem to be things you cherished. You really do give up yourself, and in doing so, you do find yourself again, who you are and what it means to be a son of God. I continue learning things every day that I fell like I could not have learned otherwise! 

He received a parcel from his friend Daniel and his Christmas package from the Flynn family.  He is very grateful and feeling loved! He asked me to thank the Flynns for the coloured socks! =) haha

Monday, 27 January 2014

Photos of Elder Robertson and his golden!

13 January '14

This has been the first week of Elder Robertson and his golden, Elder Meyer as a companionship.

Elder Meyers and Elder Robertson

Trainers and goldens

I love this picture.  I love how happy they both are!! Elder Robertson says the first few days together have been good.  He says that his new companion is 'like himself in many ways and we enjoy the same hobbies. He is a born leader, so has even started leading lessons strait away.  He's excited and motivated. I'm excited to be working with him and I can see the potential he has to become a great missionary.

He continues ... 'Being in the mission home, or even within Germany, was odd.  Seeing a simple S-bahn made me feel a tad uncomfortable as it was like a previous dream after having not seen it for over half a year.  It was a good atmosphere and you could feel how prepared these new missionaries were.  I met an Elder that had come in from Provo at eh same time as myself and we got along well.  he is an American and so I hadn't seen him since those first two days.  He was also training and funnily enough, he is serving in Austria in Ar. Pölten, the branch Annika attends.'

'Two long train rides from Zürich to München and then back, within the space of just over 24 hours was tiring. '

His friend Wes was home in Switzerland and so Elder Robertson got to see him.

Elder Robertson and Wes

Meeting Wes was good.  He's preparing to go head out himself.   Who would have guessed that an EFY in 2009 wold have profited so much?

This next week is tough.  There's not too much planned and there's an investigator or two that can't meet with us, but things are running well and we have a system going and are getting things done and organised.  I've helped the sisters; after opening the area they haven't had too much going on.  They also had their only real investigator drop them.  I approached the member of the ward to ask when was the last time he'd invited the missionaries around.  He then replied with: "Ahh, you guys want to come around again" I then asked if he'd talk to his wife about it and invite the sisters so they an appointment next week with them.  I would have loved to go, but I figured we have enough o do and sisters are finding it difficult with the new area or at least finding investigators.  We also have a couple of appointments we still need to sort out, but otherwise I feel as though things are running smoothly.  We do have a lot of travelling to do in this mission and it takes a long time. so I feel that because of this, it impacts upon the work we are able to get done, especially here in Luzern: it takes almost 2 hours to get to district or zone meetings ... We need to hasten the trains so we can hasten the work! =D

Otherwise, everything is going well and the work is definitely moving forward now that we are back in the area!