Week 69 – Mission Tour with Elder Robbins!

Elder Ash and I with Elder and Sister Robbins
January 11, 2016

Bummer about the Redskins losing in the playoffs, but I think they are just waiting to go all the way to the Super Bowl so that way I can be there to watch the games...so I am not worried. 

But this week has been a spiritual FEAST. Wow. We had Elder Lynn G. Robbins, of the Presidency of the Seventy come to our mission for three days. It was truly a huge blessing to spend time with him and learn from him. He is such an inspired man who has a strong, deep testimony, and a wonderful perspective on life.

He arrived Thursday afternoon and we were asked to attend an hour-long meeting with him and his wife, along with President and Sister Chesnut. Just the 6 of us!!  We discussed the mission and the results that we received from the mission survey that we took about a month ago. He told us after looking over the survey that we are a very obedient mission comparatively, which was nice to hear. But we also discussed some of our weak points as a mission, and what we can improve on. It was cool to work so closely with a general authority like that.

Night before MLC with the ZL's from Elko
(looking like a bunch of hoodlums.)
On Friday morning, we had a short MLC meeting with all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders.  Elder Robbins took the whole 3 hours of the meeting himself and trained us on accountability and agency and how Satan can take control over us without us even knowing, by letting us place blame on other people, or self-justifying our sins and mistakes. It was spectacular. I wish you all could've been there to hear and learn from him. It was interesting because I feel like his comments and teachings were often geared towards us after our missions. He talked a lot about marriage and how so many people these days have failed marriages because they let Satan take control over their lives, and they aren't willing to forgive one another, and aren't committed even when the going gets tough in life. 

With friends David and Michelle
After MLC we had a quick lunch and then we zipped over to another church building, where we had a huge 6-zone gathering, with about 130 missionaries. Elder Robbins presided over the meeting, and he took most of the time in that meeting, too. This bigger meeting was more focused on missionary work, and how we can help our investigators progress and keep commitments by being more bold – but still do it out of love. That concept is a constant battle that I have been having my whole mission...getting investigators to keep their commitments, especially coming to church! He also talked about studying the scriptures, and how he studies the scriptures.

With the Bigney's
Then Saturday morning we woke up, got ready, and drove 4 hours to Elko, where we had an east-side meeting with the other 3 zones over there. It was interesting because this big meeting was 100% different than the other big meeting. He talked in this meeting about being successful, and how, "Success is going from failure to failure without losing our enthusiasm." He also talked about love, and the doctrine behind loving someone. He taught us that nobody "falls into love" because that implies that it was by chance or by accident that two people come to love one another. But rather loving people is a commandment, therefore it is a choice. He said that in his days as a church leader, he has dealt with many couples who don't get along anymore and say that they have "fallen out of love" but this isn't possible. It was a good lesson for me to learn for the future!

Here are a few thoughts and notes that I took from the meetings with Elder Robbins:
  • We can't reach our destination and be upset...we chose the road.
  • The only perfect parent never forces his children to do anything
  • Forgiving is trusting in the Lord's justice, sometimes we must forgive even though we are in the right, and have done nothing wrong.
  • Pride is like bad breath, everyone knows but the offender.
  • The Savior never remained silent when someone judged another person in His presence, he always spoke up.
  • Spend time with your wife
  • Confessing sins is not a punishment, it is a gift
  • 2 things to always remember when married: 1) Your wife is always right 2) When your wife is wrong, re-read rule #1.
  • The Light of Christ is in EVERYONE and is ever-present.
  • You cannot gain a testimony from the 5 senses
  • Seeing is NOT believing, the world tends to think otherwise, but there are way too many examples to prove the contrary, such as Laman and Lemuel.
  • Smooth seas don't make for a skillful sailor
  • Don't forget which way you face
  • We need to stop holding our investigators’ hands, and let them hold onto the Iron Rod.
  • Someone who has true faith in Jesus Christ you can't keep out of the baptismal font.
  • We glow 
  • I need to expect more miracles
  • God knows everything past, present, and future.
  • I feel as though the more experience people have in the church, the better their perspective, they are not worried about the un-important things. 
  • The Book of Mormon and the Bible are like having two eyes...there is a whole lot of overlap, but each can see something that the other eye can't.
  • True happiness in life is found by forgetting ourselves.
  • A problem is a goldmine
  • Don't let good works and excellency become transparent (meaning we forget about it and don't recognize it. This is especially important when I have children.)
  • The phrase, "I love you" is a promise of our behavior. 
  • There are tons of promised blessings that are given to us in the preface of the hymn book. 
Those are just a few thoughts I had as he was teaching us...I have about 8 pages total. It truly was a spiritual feast. My life has been changed because of the things that I learned over the past few days. I am very grateful for that.

Exchanges with Elder Knight
This week will be the first week that Elder Ash and I don't have a single thing going on since my first transfer as an Assistant. It is great!! We have no exchanges this week, no meetings, no nothing. We are really excited for the chance we have to work together for an entire week, without interruption. I do think that I am coming to the end of my days serving with President as one of his Assistants, but this week we have our personal interviews scheduled with him and we will see what he has to say about it. It will be sad, going back into the field. I have loved serving with him and spending time with him. I will also miss the Prater Ward, they are my home ward now! I know the ward, and the ward knows me, and it is fun when that is the case. But I am looking forward to getting out and spending my last months just working as hard as possible.

Well that's about all that I have for this week. I love you guys!! I know that the Church is true. The Book of Mormon is, too. 


Elder Todd

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