Sunday, October 23, 2016

March 14, 2016 ~ Week 26

Wow this past week I hit my 6 month mark, i cant believe it! That mean I have been in the beautiful land of Finland for 4 months! Nuts! Also transfer calls came! I am staying here in Lahti to complete my first 6 months in the country all in Lahti, the best place in Finland!  And my companion who has been here for 6 months is getting the boot and going to Rauma, a beautiful city on the coast! 

But this week was really awesome! Yesterday we had a powerful lesson with our investigator who dropped us in February weeks before her baptism. But yesterday we went back and got to the root of the problem and why she did. Lets just say, if you a question about something in the BoM or doctrine, the internet is not the most reliable source, but modern day revelation is! After listening to her side of he story we did all that we know how to do, and that is bare clear simple, powerful testimonies about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the divinity of the Book of Mormon and of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The spirit was so strong in there, almost impossible not to feel it and it really lead and guided our words as we tried to problem solve! 

That is the main highlight of the week! Its a struggle to remember everything that happens in a week seeing as everyday is the same, but a he same time totally different! A lot for tracting and street contacting, two missionaries favorite things to do haha... But its all worth it for the spirit that was felt and the lives that we have tried to impact by this powerful message! I love you and hope all is well! 

Vanhin Robison

March 8, 2016 ~ Week 25

Wow can you believe it? My 6 month mark is tomorrow! I can not believe that I have been on my mission for 6 months now! Its crazy time is flying! 
With that experiences and blessings are multiplying, just like two snowflakes are not a like, the same goes for a mission. two days are not the same, except for the MTC where everyday is the same. But still, here we get to see and hear and experience new things! What a great blessing that is! 

One for those things we get to experience is the outward expression of love our Father in Heaven shows to us everyday. This week our investigators have felt some hard times, but like physics every act has an equal and opposite reaction, much like our adversity and trials. With this down week, they will be able to have a greater appreciation for the gospel in their lives because of the opposition they have experienced. Im not sure if that made sense, it did in my head. 

We had an awesome lesson yesterday with one of our new investigators that we found tracking! He doesn't know much about Jesus Christ or God so we spent time on that which lead us to the Book of Mormon. We read the introduction with him and the part that stuck out to him was that by reading and applying the teaching in the book we can grow closer to God than by another book. He asked us what experiences we had had with that. And to be honest i had never thought about that until that moment. My mind was immediately recalled back to President Uchtdorfs talk this past conference called Ít Works Wonderfully´. There he asks us if the gospel is working for us? But to me it was now, is the Book of Mormon working for us? Is it really drawing us closer to God? And My answer is yes, it works wonderfully! 

Other than that great bird walk I had, this week went great! I love you all, have a great week! And ask if the Book of Mormon is working for yourselves.

Vanhin Robison

March 1, 2016 ~ Week 24

Wow oh wow my 6 month mark is only like 2 weeks away! I can not believe all that is happening here! It feels like yesterday I was being kicked to the curb at the MTC! Time is a weird concept on missions! If you want time to go fast, you don't think and just work, and if you want it to speed up, you think about it haha! Its weird!

Anyways this week has contained some awesome experiences which consist of investigators feeling the Holy Ghost. We have one who has been investigating for over a year, and so we decided to talk about temples and the blessings which come from them. At the end of the lesson she said, and I have to be a member for this? to which we said yes. And she got kind of emotional and we talked about baptism, its hard because her family is against it and she has fears for her own. But the spirit is differently working on her right now! 

The next one was we have an investigator who we taught on Thursday and his member fellowshipper said he was in a bad mood before the lesson. Work was rough and he was in the pits emotionally. But then we taught the lesson about the Holy Ghost, and it was pretty normal lesson. But after the lesson we get a call from the member that is his fellowshipper and they said that his attitude had totally changed. The spirit is defiantly working on him! And again a  similar experience happened to him but this time through prayer.

The power of the spirit is real! It can change us! I have seen people hear change like I never ever thought possible because of the spirit! It can often hearts, change desires, promote us to do good and to follow Jesus Christ better! 

Although this week wasn't all roses, on Sunday we lost or phone and we were phoneless for a day, but through the grace of God and his many miracles, some stranger picked it up on the street and got in contact with the Bishop who then made it possible for us to have it again! If it matters to us, it matters to God. We prayed real hard over that phone and He listened then responded. Just imagine the pull prayer and faith can have on the more weightier things in this life, like spiritual matters along with temporal! 
The Church is true, Jesus Christ is its head and He runs the church under the direction of Thomas S Monson! 

Have a great week! 

Vanhin Robison

February 22, 2016 ~ Week 24

Hey family and friends! Let me begin the repentance process by asking forgiveness from you all for my lack of communication to you all. A lot has happened in these past weeks, probably the most of my entire mission haha. Well to start off I am sure you are wondering what happened to our investigators with baptismal dates, and Im sad to say that a few weeks ago they call texted us and said that they did not wish to be baptized anymore and dropped us like a rock. we have not been able to meet with them since which is not a good thing. We aren't sure what happened, but they said that they do not feel like Joseph Smith was a prophet and did not believe in the Book of Mormon. That was incredibly sad, but I want it clearly known that I KNOW that Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it truly contains the fulness of the gospel. I KNOW that it was translated by Joseph Smith through the power of God. I KNOW that Myöhempien Aikojen Pyhien Jeesuksen Kristuksen Kirrko is the only true church on the earth today!  

Anyways, after that super hard week we were blessed with so many blessings like the addition of two new awesome investigators! One of them was found by the Sister missionaries here and given to us because she lives in our area. We started to teach her and she progressed wonderfully! She `Having a disposition no more to do evil, but good continually´ has really changed her life and come back in tune with God through prayer! Unfortunately she developed feelings for my companion, so we had to give her back to Sisters were they will finish her teaching!

And our second was given to us by a member. She met him one day and started to introduce him to the church little by little, by bringing him to church activities, church and, writing her testimony in a Book of Mormon and then giving it to him. He has now agreed to let us teach him. I met him for the first time a month or two ago, and there he seemed like a man who was lost in life and had no hope for anything with a rugged look. But now, nearly a month later he is a changed new man, with the Spirit of God working on him. He now has hope, a purpose for life and even has cleaned up his physical appearance. That is what this gospel does, it changed people from the inside out!

I love you all and hope you all are having a great week adn doing something everyday to strengthen your testimony! The church is true!
Vanhin Robison

Sunset in Finland

February 16, 2016 ~ Week 23

Kyle has been sending Audio emails since he is short on time.  We will get his audio's typed up ASAP and send the written version out.  Until then - know that he is doing well and had 4 investigators at church on Sunday.  He and his companion got to go to the Helsinki Temple and do baptisms with their newest convert and a family in the ward.  He said it was amazing and wonderful.  They realized however that they forgot to tell the new convert that singing in a regular voice, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight and Let it Go" is really not OK inside the Temple.  I guess he sings when he is feeling the spirit :)  All in all he said he was a great day!

Thanks for your support!
Mini Olaf at the Bus Stop

February 9, 2016 ~ Week 22

No group email today - lots of pictures instead!

Day at the Temple with Elder Smith

Best Statue impression

Tracking in the Snow 

February 2, 2016 ~ Week 21

No group letter today but he is doing well.  On his audio he said their teaching pool is growing and they are staying very busy and warm.  Here are some pictures to enjoy however :)

Thanks for ALL YOUR support and love for our son Kyle!

WAITING FOR THE BUS......Oh so Tired!

January 26, 2016 ~ Week 20

My last week of training! YEAH! Man staying inside till 1300 hrs almost every morning is rough but this is the last week I have to do it!:) This week has been great full of a lot of tracting and finding and teaching and training and so one, but the best moment was SEEING THE NORTHERN LIGHTS! Thats right i saw them! Man they are a spectacular sight! Although they werent bright enough to take a picture! But we also had a world wide missionary broadcast which was really good! We receive training from Elders Anderson, Bednar, Oaks and Waddle as well as President Clayton of the 70. 
We got a referral from the sisters, they contacted a girl on a bus and set up a lesson with her but see is in our area and she is one solid person! We taught her on Sunday and she is so cool and really prepared! 

We also found thisone guy on the street he seemed pretty cool so we got his address and stopped by his house yesterday but he is a total nut haha! He sang for us, drew a portrait of Elder Smith, applied for healthcare, lifted weights all during our lesson with him. I offered the closing prayer and he corrected my Finnish for me, even though it want wrong it was just another way of saying it. It was one really interesting lesson. we only got like 10 words out. But when we were leaving he asked if we baptized people by water and we said yeah and then he asked us the baptism him, so who knows maybe we will, if we could ever get through a lesson with him. Just the weirdest experience of my life haha! 
And the weather has gotten really wierd, on friday it was -32 and then Saturday was -9 and today it rained. Mother nature is really confused right now. But ti should be fun to see whats instore this week! Thats all for this week I love you all so much! 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 19, 2016 ~ Week 19

January 12, 2016 ~ Week 18

Wow I feel like I have been out here way longer than 18 weeks. I probably have, my counting has never been good haha! But this week was a nice cold Finnish week:) With temperatures plummeting to a solid -30 celsius, but don't worry because I discovered the art of hand warmer in mittens, thermals, and heaters in apartments buildings. This week while tracting and being pretty cold, we took a break from knocking doors to warm our feet and shoes on the heater in the apartment buildings and made some phone calls. It was a good day:) Also there was a baptism this week, it wasn't any of our investigators I was involved. Also I get to stay in Lahti for the next 9 weeks with Elder Smith! Prayers really are answered! 

I guess that I should mention that our recent convert of a little over a month gave a talk at the baptism and killed it! And also brought two friend with his who have now turned into investigators with the addition of one of theirs friends! Man what a guy! 

Also a different investigator of ours really showed her true colors by picking up and taking the two people that were baptized on Saturday to church on Sunday. I mean how blessed is this land! We have investigators taking our recent converts to church! Dang! I love this city! Today we got a nice big snow storm and I think it will continue and hopefully never stop:) I love being a missionary and being able to serve here! The people are just the best and that thought of leaving really makes me sad, so I don't think about it:) I hope all is well! Sorry its so short, I ran low on time! 
Vanhin Robison

January 5, 2016 ~ Week 17

December 29, 2015 ~ Week 16

December 22, 2015 ~ Week 15

Hello all! Wow what a week! Im pretty sure i start every email off like that, my bad. But it was quite a week! On Monday we went down to Helsinki for our interim training and it was 3 straight days of training for like 12 hours a day. They were some long days full of self pondering, making corrections and learning. But I feel I came out better and more determined than when I went in! We talked a lot about Charity, Faith, Hope, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, planning and everything single things was related to obedience. So it was kind of like a chastisement all week because I realize I can be doing so much better! But good thing we have the atonement of Jesus Christ! I also think that I got called out because I hadn't cut my hair since I left the MTC, and it was shaggy, and President was talking about our appearance, and he says, Elders some of you need a haircut in here. Then he scanned that room and tried so hard not to make eye contact, but I did, and realized that yeah that was to me, whoops. So dont worry I cut my hair, actually Elder Smith cut my hair! I have a lot of trust in him because I love my hair a lot and for me to let him touch took a big step, but he did well!

Anyways we also went to the temple her in Finland, and it maybe one of the prettiest temples that i have been in! I hope everyone here gets the opportunity to come to the Temple in Finland! Such a beautiful place!! Then we came back on Friday morning and got into Lahti at about 9, did some studies for like an hour then we had a lesson! Super good lesson btw!

Then this weekend was just full of tracking and building member relationships! We knocked a lot of doors, got a lot of nos (which really means later ill accept) and a few yess! So not a bad week! Weve really been focusing on our message about the Savior this past month and Im amazed at how many people say that they dont need him. Its super sad! We all need him! Thats why he is called our "Savior"! 

Also other sad news is that i Have had a white Christmas every year my whole life, until
I come to Finland of all places! Haha! Its been in the 40s and rainy all week. Im kind of bummed out about that. They say its Lahti's warmest summer EVER! Im living in the history book, in the present! Life is moving right along! Remember the Savior this Christmas season! I know that he lives! He loves us and wants to help us! Let us accept his gift to us!

With love,
Vanhin Robison

December 15, 2015 ~ Week 14

Hello friends and family! This was such a busy week! Busy weeks are the best! On Thursday the Helsinki and Tampere Zones went down to Helsinki for a Mission Tour Zone Conference with Elder Dyches of the area presidency and he is one cool guy! He spoke to us a lot about working with memebers and becoming master teachers and teaching like the savior! He made it real simple for me which I liked! he said to 1. Simplify 2. Clarify 3. Verify and 4. Testify. It was as really good and rewarding conference! Then to make that day better we got to play sählu! That is a super fun game! We played with the bishop, a few other members, a less active and his friend! Such a fun time! My companion is killer at it! 
Awesome lake Vesijärvi

Then the next day (Friday) we had a few lessons which are always fun and we made Joulu Tarttu (some really good Finnish pastry around Christmas time) for the ward party on saturday! We made over 200 so that was a fun, long night haha! Then the crowning event of the weekend was the mission wide know famous Lahti wrad Christmas party! I was told it was the best and now I beleive it! They had all these cool skits and songs from children and the young mens and the bishopric! The bishopric was so funny! They stole the show! 
Then I guess it is a tradition that the missionaries do a rap there so we made ours like an hour before we preformed and it was shaky and half was in Enlgish. But the members still love it and said we did great even hough we know they lied to us, but hey it makes me feel better!:) 

Oh yeah and the reason that i am writing on Monday is because we have what is called interim. That is after 5 weeks in the country all the new missionaries and their trainers come down to Presidents house for the week adnd receive training, so my P-day is today not tomorrow! We leave tonight to go down there! 
Well that is about all! Its cold here now and it snowed so it really is Christmas here:) I hope everyone has great week and I will talk to you next week! 
Vanhin Robison

Finally found a statue with clothes on!
The Sisters in Lahti who feel like family.

December 8, 2015 ~ Week 13

Hello all of my awesome friends and family! Boy did Finland have a treat for us yesterday that continued on today:) So yesterday we were making lunch and I was cutting the onions. I thought that I was man enough to not cry but no such luck! Onions are mean suckers! But I noticed the room to get brighter and brighter, I though it was the onions playing a joke on me and my eyes were "going to the light" (like they were dying). But then I looked up out the window and the sky was blue! I thought that i would try my luck and I walked out onto the balcony and turned to my left (the south) and low and behold... I SAW THE SUN!!!!!!! Wow that just lifts your spirits right up after studying for 4 straight hours! But just to make my sight of the sun in about  month, I did what any mature servant of God would have done, which is stare right into it, and of course take a selfie with it! Man I love the sun! And its out again today! Whoop Whoop! I love the sun!

But that was not the crowning moment of the week! The crowning moment of the week was clearly our baptism! Boy oh boy was the a stressful time! All the way from forgetting the baptismal forms for our district leader to sign to our investigator showing up 15 minutes late to his baptism to him showing up late to church! Super stressful but well worth the stress! Everything ran soomthly once he showed up hah! But then we had a lesson that night with a lady so we needed a member to take with us and all of them were busy so we were like, "Hey why not bring our investigator we just baptized 30 minutes ago?" Haha! He came with us and he absolutley spirituallly slayed it! We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and we had him bare his testimony about baptism and just his testimony and h really brought the spirit, giving a pure simple testimony and sharing experiences! Up until that point I had reall been wondering if he was converted or not, if what we had taught "wrought a mighty change in his heart" or not, and I am here to say that he has! He is a new man! Spiritually reborn! What an awesome lesson! We both felt prompted to then committ to baptism and she said yes! But we didnt set a date.... whoops. But our "member" who came along bore so much testimony about church attendence so we also committed her to come to church the next day, and.... she came!! What a blessed experience! Missionary work just gets more and more fun! I love you all and look forward to hearing form you next week!

Finally found some people to teach!
Dressed and Ready for my first baptism!

December 1, 2015 ~ Week 12

November 24, 2015 ~ Week 11