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!

Staying in Luzern & training!

6th January 2014

I can officially say, I will see Elder Robertson next year!! Yay!! I cannot believe how fast it is flying by.  This month he will have been serving for 9 months.  On one hand it is hard to think I haven't had him at home for all of that time, on the other it just seems to have flown by.

Today's P-day was spent in Aarau and he shared that he would be staying in Luzern and training.  He is so excited to be training and to be staying in the area.  He said he has built up a good relationship with the members there and feels excited to be working in the ward again full time.

Their investigator Chris, came to church again yesterday.  Elder Robertson really has built a good relationship with him.  He said they hugged each other and sat and talked for quite some time.  We are praying he recognises the spirit and is moved to be baptised soon.  I think there is a lifelong friendship forming here! =)

"We haven't had many appointments over the last few weeks with the Christmas season ... but miracles are in store!!"

I'm excited to see who he will be training and hear of their experiences together as they share the gopsel with the people in Luzern.  What a wonderful way to start the new year!!

Happy New Year! All the best for  2014!!

Short email. but email none the less!!

30 Dec 2013

Today we were driving back to Germany from our time spent with family and friends.  We had emailed Elder Robertson on the Sunday before, like usual.  He was late in getting to email as the internet in Luzern was having difficulties.  Fortunately a member allowed them to email from their home.  He shared how he was thinking of me worrying the whole time.  That really touched me even though I was in the car without wifi ... so didn't even know it was late! 

He had noticed how smiling alone can be such a good approach with people and the difference it makes to their interest in what the missionaries are sharing.

He shared the following ... " I enjoyed the Christmas week and I didn't feel too homesick!"erent traditions of the several families."

He celebrated the season with different members and joined in in their family traditions.

Transfers are on the 9th Jan 2014.  I'm pretty sure Elder Robertson will get his own companion.  Should he stay in Luzern, he will be able to devote his time to the serving the members and non members there and allow those missionaries serving in Aarau to do the same.  He has enjoyed being in a dritt, but is looking forward to having his own companion! =)

My favourite line from his short email ... "I love you mom, have a good week and a happy new year!!"

Christmas Eve Skype

We were in Lincoln, England for Christmas and were skyping from Nan's house.  The time was set for 11am and 11am came and went, I was waiting patiently, who am I trying to kid?! haha  I was waiting .... anxiously!!

After his long walk to the members home, with whom they would be spending the day with, we finally got through around 11.30am.  I thought it was really thoughtful of him, saying that the whole time he was walking to the members home, he knew I would be worrying where he was.

My initial impression of him was how good he looked.  He really looked well.  Healthy and happy!! My next impression was how confident he had become.  I was so proud looking at him and so grateful to be able to see him as we spoke.  We had 40 mins and I lapped up every moment.  My intention was to share the time, but that thought never crossed my mind whilst we were actually on to it!! haha  I was impressed that he was really being obedient and watched the time towards the end to make sure we didn't go over!! I could have spoken to him ALL day!!

Elder Robertson skyping the loons! Look at the expressions in the small box! 

He shared some Swiss German with us, which sounds a little funny! We all had tons of questions for him and Thomas entertained as we tried to communicate around his dancing and face pulling.  Almost every day Thomas tells me he misses Jacob.  And we all do ... but wouldn't have him miss this experience for anything!

Laughing at Thomas ... who else?  This really makes me smile!!

We wanted to get a family photo and so took a couple of shots until we go one we could use.  This is our best Selfie to date ...  Although I really should have had mum join us ... where was she?

Family Portrait, Christmas 2013
Mum welled up seeing him and it was a lovely moment for her.  She is really proud of her grandson, as she is of all of them.  She has loved the missionaries so much since we first met and has mothered them as much as she could. Now she has her own grandson serving and it really fills her with so much happiness and pride!

It was so great to hear of his wonderful experiences, to see how he is growing spiritually and how happy he is! 

We are extremely grateful to the members in Aarau and Luzern who have planned to have them over in to their homes every day this week.  Such a blessing for them and a huge blessing for their family too.  For the following days after our Skype all I heard myself saying was 'Didn't he look great? ...!" 

Happy Christmas 2013 ... 


23 December 2013

Today's email included a surprise.  He hadn't mentioned a baptism but sent this lovely photo.  I have blurred out the face of the little boy for obvious reasons.

This little boy is the son of a part member family.  Elder Robertson and his comps are teaching his dad. It is wonderful to see young children make such good choices that will bring eternal happiness. They are so full of faith. He wanted his dad to baptise him and be involved but learned about the Priesthood and the authority given there.  I also find it amazing that his dad is supporting him in his choices.  The world is full of good people who would be baptised and live the gospel, if they only knew where to find it!!

This was a really special experience for Elder Robertson as it would have been for this young boy.  He said "It was a really good feeling though to be able to stand there and baptise him. You really realise the great responsibility a missionary has when you say those words." 

Curious to how Elder R got on saying the baptismal prayer in Swiss German, I asked him it.  He told me that is was done in German as is the case of all ordinances in the Church in Switzerland.

Elder Robertson's first baptism ...  
He also confessed to opening his Christmas presents early as it would be difficult to take them with him to Aarau Christmas.  I wish I had thought of putting pyjamas in his package.  Each year we have a family tradition, which is quite common in a lot of families, to have Christmas Eve pyjamas.  As he was going through his package, he recognised a pattern in his gifts and was expecting PJ's to be one of them.  Despite all of the lovely things he received he says ... "Thank you for all my gifts .... but I think you forgot something!" haha  =(  Next year! Next Year!

We arranged Skype for the 24th Dec so that his nan could see him and be a part of it.  

One of his investigators is sick, so we will be praying for him. Another was having to leave Switzerland.  He is finding it difficult to balance the work between the two areas of Luzern and Aarau.

Two weeks previous he shares that he was carolling in a Rest Home for the Elderly, but was missing out on helping new members move into the ward today.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Switzerland's Christmas Devotional

16 December 2013

So this week had been a "little crazy" for Elder Robertson and he was finding it difficult to keep on top of everything.  It really wouldn't do if everything was easy would it?! haha

FINALLY he has received his jumpers.  3rd time lucky!! =) He said "I currently sit in front of the computer in my nice cozy sweater that I did receive.  It came at the Swiss Christmas Devotional with the Christmas packages, and there were obviously loads of them, and I opened it on the train on the way back to Aarau!"

He really enjoyed the Christmas Devotional and enjoyed being English with the other English missionaries.

Patriotic English Missionaries currently serving in Switzerland!  =)

I am informed that they enjoyed singing the national anthem together and he used the words 'game, set and match!' Maybe a little competitiveness going on ... called 'National Pride'

He was in Luzern and trying to fix up appointments between Luzern and Aarau.  I am so grateful for those families in Aarau who have invited him for Christmas.  He says he has appointments for the whole week there and one in Luzern too.

 "This morning, we got an invitation to go and see a theatre play with a member family on the 23rd, a two hour piece from 8pm to 10pm. We thought it would be best to check before if we could do that as the main celebrations wouldn't be competely startiing. We got permission, so we'll be having fun then!¨

It seems a little bit weird with the Christmas season starting. The dritt is working well. Its a little bit tough to see all of the investigators as they have their set times, and it could be that we are not there at that time, but in the other area. Its frustrating for us all. But we get along well, and despite the challenges, we are happy.

Elder Pugh, pre mission friend from England, and Elder Müller.

MTC companions

Front table, centre, back of head shot!  This is the 'dritt' on the front table.
Elder Paulsen, Elder Robertson and Elder Becker

Sister Miles called them 'sore losers!' hahaha

Christmas gifts ... front right

Monday, 6 January 2014

Christmas Package has landed ....

9 December

Emailing from cold Luzern today. His Christmas package has arrived, our friends, the Psotas delivered it for us.   He promises me that he  hasn't opened anything other than his suit.  =)  In his box I had tipped a 'tin' of Hereos chocolates and he'd gathered them altogether and delivered them to the sister missionaries in his area.  How thoughtful is that?  I was so impressed with him being kind to the sisters and realising that the sisters need for chocolate is in fact greater than his own!

He'd had a good week despite finding it hard balancing the work between the two areas.

We had a lovely surprise when we met a friend of his from the mission at church.  Elder Robertson has been teaching him.  He was visiting Frankfurt with friends and attended the International ward.  We were all very happy to see him and very surprised too! haha

Genuinely a lovely young man and a pleasure to meet!! 

Photo from Brother Psota

2nd of December
Look what I woke up to on the morning of the 2 December!! =)
Elder Robertson in Aarau Chapel, Switzerland

Receiving photos from friends and members of the local wards are always so well received.  

So far Elder R is enjoying working in the 'dritt' and they are getting along great.  He is concerned about balancing the work in the two areas making sure that the investigators in both areas don't get neglected and being most effective with that. Of course as a mother I am always asking him if he's healthy.  The report today is he is 'tip top' as the Swiss say, although I think the English say it too! 

The cold is getting a little nippier in Switzerland but is glad he'd bought the coat he did.  Seems to be keeping him warm whilst still waiting for the delivery of his much needed jumpers!

He's remaining positive and working hard.

He signed off with "miracles are happening all around us. We need to stay worthy and faithful to have them and keep our eyes open to see them. There's definitely a lot happening here!! Prayer and fasting is definitely bringing blessings!"

'See the opportunity in adversity!'

25 November

Elder R was supposed to be training this transfer.  Unfortunately things changed and he is currently serving in a 'dritt', which means he's serving in a three.  His companions will be Elder Becker and Elder Paulson for probably this transfer period of 6 weeks.  He will be serving both his area of Luzern and the area of the other companionship, Aarau.  These areas are about an hour apart on public transport. Busy, busy, busy! He says "fortunately both areas have sisters too so the wards aren't completely without support!"  "This week was a little busier and yet quiter due to a couple of exchanges which were cool as I got to work outside of my area twice this week with some good friends I've made here." I'm trying to live by the motto "See the opportunity in adversity". It was something Ammon did as he was a missionary to the Lamanites."

This weekend we had met one of his missionary friends who had recently returned home from his mission.  It was so wonderful to see him.  He told us how much he and Elder Robertson got on.  He helped Elder R with the language when he first arrived and also told me nice things about him so he is one of my favourite people! haha

'Elder' Tom Sievers, he's a friend of Elder R's from the mission.

After sending this photo to Elder Robertson, he replied "That's funny that you met Tom Sievers! He was one of my best friends as I got into the mission field and having him around just made everything fun and worthwhile. Living in the same apartment as him for three months was hilarious and I was just as sad to see him move on as Elder Nakken.  (Elder Nakken was his trainer!) 

Zone Conference:Fantastic!

18 November

One blessing of being so far behind on Elder Robertson's blog is that I get to have a valid reason to reread all of his emails.  Do I really need a valid reason? haha  So I am catching up as much as I can as I wait for his email to come through for today.

His email dated the 18 November is full of enthusiasm and he says that Zone Conference was fantastic.

He says: 'Last week we had both Zone Training Meeting and Zone Conference and in both meetings there was a very strong spirit that was unmistakably felt by everyone there. We're aiming to get 290 baptisms in total by the end of the year. It's been our goal all year and though we're about 170-ish short, we're all determined that its possible.'

He is surrounded by such valiant missionaries who are really dedicated to the work.  He often tells me of how obedient and hard working the missionaries he serves with and around are.  What a blessing for all of us missionary families and the local areas in which they serve.

He tells me he was working on cleaning his apartment.  I don't have photographic evidence so hopefully it wasn't too bad!! =)

He is eager to push the work forward in Luzern and knows there is a lot to achieve.

I received a few photos ... These were taken at 7:00 am after 'Morgen Sport'.

This monument is near their apartment.

After what seems months of begging for a pic .....

Beautifully lit Luzern ...

that's all folks ....