Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hi from Paradise!

Dear Family,
What a crazy week! It just feels like a blur. I am all well and settled in my new area with Sister Cook. We are living in an apartment in a busy part of Vegas, about 10 minutes from the strip. There are SO many more people in Vegas than Havasu, and hallelujah for street lights here! It makes the nighttime hours so much easier on us. I am so excited to be here. I feel like there's so much work to do and so many more opportunities to find new people to teach. Many of the people here are living in pretty humble conditions, so most are very open and receptive to us. Of course that makes everything so much more rewarding and exciting and motivating. We are teaching a few families right now, but I really feel we can find more. I feel an added drive to make things happen and to see miracles.
Sister Sidney Cook is so sweet. The beginning of the week was a little rough when I first got here because she was down with a terrible cold - she had this horrendous cough that wouldn't go away, so the first few days I was here she rested in bed all day until dinner. I wasn't sure what to do because I've never had to stay inside yet on my mission... so I unpacked, organized, studied, snacked, and studied some more. We were convinced she had bronchitis, but after trying a few cough/cold medicines, its finally started to die down. Sister Cook is very bubbly and outgoing and loves to laugh. She has this tiny little voice that sounds like a Disney character (she could definitely work at Disney World as Princess Belle or something).  I think we will work well together.
The ward here is nice and humble. Our bishop, Bishop Nihipali, is Hawaiin, works as head football coach at the high school, and knows Brother Kalauli from the Crossman Peak ward! So obviously I've taken a liking to him. Our ward mission leader is a convert of 5 years and is so excited about making things happen in this area. I'm excited about him! 
I love y'all so much!!! Wish I had more time!
With love,
Sister Robinson

Note from Summer: Lindsey obviously has a new address now because she has moved to Vegas. Please leave your email in the comments if you would like me to send you her updated address. Thanks!


Dear Family,

Wow, hello December! Time is flying. Next week I hit 6 months! Crazy. 

Sounds like y'all had a good Thanksgiving! Thanks for the pictures. So glad you got to see the Bettingers. I'm excited for a big Robinson - Bettinger reunion when all the missionaries are home someday. Sophie sent me pictures from the big Robinson get-together on Thanksgiving in Utah. It's so fun to see her and Heather and Holly together again. I was asked a few times on Thanksgiving what some of my family's Thanksgiving traditions are and I said that my cousins and I used to sneak olives into each other's sodas when the other wasn't looking, and after the big feast we'd Thanksgiving carol around CC's neighborhood. Haha! Those were the best of days. Our Thanksgiving here in Havasu was really good! We ended up eating at our ward mission leader's house with his family (the Derus). We had mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing, raspberry pudding (heavenly!), veggies, gravy, homemade rolls... all the goods. I was bummed we didn't have any candied yams - I'd been looking forward to them all week! But the meal was yummy and filling. We had to make room for feast #2 later that day; we got invited to eat at Sister Bayne's home with her and some other widows in the ward. Needless to say we were well-fed, put on a few pounds, and were perfectly happy and content missionaries :) It was a little tough to proselyte that day, but we had some good lessons with less-actives in the ward.

We had a baptism last night for Aiden and Audrey Tarter, who we've been teaching for about 3 months. It was a beautiful service, and it was really special because their dad, Jesse (who was baptized at 8, but hadn't been to church in over 18 years till we reached out to the family during the big ward search in August), received the priesthood earlier in the day, so he could perform the baptisms. I felt so grateful to be a part of their spiritual progression as a family. And I adore those kids! Audrey is a bubble of energy and laughter and fun. She turned 8 on Saturday. Aiden is so bashful and shy, but has one of the kindest hearts. He's 11. The next step is to keep the 3 of them active and progressing together. 

Other noteworthy events from the week:
-The Kalaulis officially moved out of the ward! We're so sad, but also so happy for them. They were in a tight space with their 3 bedroom, 2 bath rental and 8 family members. Their new house is HUGE and beautiful. 8 bedroom, 6 bath and MASSIVE. Sister Walton and I stopped by the other night to take a tour (and basically get lost in) and to say our goodbyes. Meeting such strong and loving families has been one of my favorites things about being on a mission so far. I love going into other people's homes and seeing how they live and work and interact. It gives me such perspective. It also makes me appreciate our family so much. 
-The Church came out with a new Christmas initiative - have you seen the "He is the Gift" video yet? I love it. I have been so impressed with the media of the church in recent years, particularly the videos. I filming is excellent and the message shared is powerful. Watch it for FHE tonight after decorating the tree :)
-Sister Arnold came back to Havasu for a day to go on an exchange with Sister Lowry! We got to see her at district meeting. She goes home in a week. I will forever cherish the memories I have with her and the lessons she has taught me. She has changed my perspective on so much, and consequently has changed my mission. 

Happy December! I love the holiday season. Can't wait to Skype with you on Christmas! 

Praying for you always,
Sister Lindsey

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Week

Letter from November 24, 2014

Dear Family,

Transfers are on December 9th. It's not set in stone that I'll be leaving, but when we went to dinner with President Snow Friday night before the "Meet the Mormons" showing, he asked Sister Walton: "So, are you ready to take over the area? We can't keep Sister Robinson here forever!" So naturally we're feeling pretty inclined to believe I'll be kicked out of here. I am excited and nervous. Mostly I'm ready for a change. Serving in-valley is apparently a whole different ball game - so much more fast paced and rigorous and busy. 

Our showings of "Meet the Mormons" was a HUGE success! An announcement for it aired on the radio for a week, and we put an ad put in the paper. We had over 300 people show up for the friday night showing and close to 100 on saturday! At the end of the movie of course everyone was in tears, and then Brother Nelson (who was conducting the evening) stood up and thanked everyone for coming and invited all the full-time missionaries to come to the front and introduce ourselves. All the elders in our district (and some more from our Zone) came, so we had an army of missionaries it seemed. It was so powerful and so awesome. I was grateful to be a part of it. There were quite a few nonmembers there, too, which made it all even more exciting. President Snow was impressed and said: "One of us needs to write this experience up and distribute it to all the missionaries in the mission to set a gold standard for them to follow!" We told him it wasn't us, it was the members. Our ward did a phenomenal job of putting it all together. I wish I'd taken a picture of it, but I never got around to it.

Blessings of the temple

Letter from November 17, 2014

Dear Family,

This week has been such a blur.. Sister Walton and I sat down to plan last night and realized, "Oh my, tomorrow is PDAY!" When I heard other missionaries say that the weeks pick up after about 3 months out, I didn't really think it'd be true for me. But lo and behold, I feel like my time with Sister Walton has passed in the blink of an eye. We only have 3 weeks left together! I am getting so nervous for transfers coming up.