Missionary in a Foreign Land

Re: Weekly email to Don… September 17

Donavon McKay Robertson <donavon.robertson@myldsmail.net>
To: Heidi Robertson <hrobertson@nsummit.org>
Date: 9/18/2013 4:12 AM
So yes, Everything is good!! My companion is Anziano LaFaye from Arizona. We have a great relationship:) Things are all great:) I am excited to come back to Italy after I finish the mission in the summer with all of you!!:) I would rather not get picked up. No offense, i just think it would be more enjoyable if i were released first:) haha. Thank you for all of the things you share with me every week! The excerpts from your blog are beautiful and full of vivid imagery:) You are gifted mom:) In all seriousness:) I apologize again for the short email and no pictures:P But next week I will be more prepared!!:D I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for everything you have ever done for me:) Have an amazing week!!!!!!!!
love, Anziano Robertson
On Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 6:19 AM, Heidi Robertson <hrobertson@nsummit.org> wrote:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013.

Dear Anziano Robertson,

Dear Don,  The sky was sooooooo beautiful this morning.  What a gift!  The sun coming up in the east, cast unpredictable calico patches of light in random placements and left me wondering.  Why? Why was that cloud bright, and that one in shadow?  Could ask the same or similar question of people and conditions, and settings, and ways of life and thought patterns.  Why is this one this way?  Why that one that way?  It is not the situation, but the chosen response that tunes one to attracting a frequency. The power is within, if only one can be aware and have enough faith to act on it positively… sometimes from the shadow.  Often in taking a step into the dark before seeing yourself really bathed in light.   Ask, believe, Receive.  These are the steps in the Creation process.  Noticed natures fall colors burning through on the Rock Port Estates  black wash, last night when dad, and the dogs and I were exploring the over exposed beach and cove at the spillway last night.  These colors promising glints of hope.  Hopefully will hang on for some weeks before first snows fall, and certain blankets of snow cover ashes, falling silent on what was once a family’s life, and savings, and security.  Now void. Hopefully, also, Spring will surely come and with it a rebuilding.
As I was working around in and out of the office, and conversation, and in and out of work in the workroom….I cast my own glancings on interviews that were being conducted in the library for two special education  aide positions open in the elementary.  This to accomodate two new students who are soon to arrive in 4th grade.  Neither will be in my class.  But, this was interesting.  Checking in on facial expressions of the three women interviewing.  Wondering what these mannerisms, and expressions meant, in comparing people who breezed in and out of questionings.  Again.  Why is this one this way?  Why is that one that way?  Wondering…who will be the chosen servant(s) to bless the lives of children?  Wow.  Quite a stewardship, really?  Humbles me in my own endowment, and responsibility.  Glad these deciding women come from a place of goodness, and can discern goodness and potential in others.

How is the Senior Companion life?  Who is you new companion?  Is he a native?  Is he from stateside?  How are you taking care of each other?  Do you compliment in strengths?  Do you work well together?  How do you define success in Italy?  What do you do that makes the most difference in teaching and in teaching outcomes?  I can ask this as a teacher, right?  Please share stories of everything. Do you ever work with sister missionaries?  What is that like?  You are right….I deserve much LONGERRRRRRRR email from you, Don. 🙂  At least answers to alllll of my questions, right?
We are doing well.  Devon is hold up in her room knitting, and is working her way forward in watching old episodes of “Bones.”  She has been rehearsing what she will say to the boy who asked her to prom….in the event that he “likes her too much for her liking” in the months leading up to the event.  It is basicall a pitty prom acceptance to go to prom with this boy.  She means/meant well, but it is not a bit awkward!  Wow!  I saw Samantha’s parents at Jake’s football game last Saturday.  They asked about you…..as if they do not write to you.  Do they?  Does Sam?

Last night I was watching a show on UEN educational TV.  It was about a province in Italy called Cortano, or something like this.  It was all about how people make cheese from scratch, by hand, and how the store it, and age it…..all kinds, but mostly mozarella, and a few others made from buffalo milk.  Pretty cool stuff.  I want to go to Italy and stay for a month or two.  It would be nice if you could extend your mission…..but if not, maybe we could just go back in the summer and tour.  I would love this very much.  Spend time in the less traveled places. Have an authentic experience and relish the country, culture, music, food, people.  What do you think?  Please say yes.
Power out at school for two hours.  I thought it was fun.  It was.  There was a lantern in the office.  It felt a lot like camping.  Could see happy faces in the glow of this warm electic, battery powered light.  Pretended it was camp fire glow.  Soothing really, in shadow of what was frustrating for so many others.  Hmmm.  The power of choosing a mindset.  For many teachers the deficit was a nightmare.  Oh well.  My class is awesome!  I take what comes as happily as I can….or at least I try to see the possitive in it all.  Smiles and music, and hugs, and trust help.
I feel good about the teaching efforts, and soul integrity choices in choosing people over things today.  Sometimes I just get things right.  Sometimes, just almost.  Mrs. C calls it, “Practically perfect.” Reminds me of this little kids writing the other day.  He completed a sentence starter in this way:  “I can…. do what I am told some of the time.”  I had to smile, because  I sometimes feel this way.  Makes me feel good when I am receive with a smile that says, “I know you are trying to do your best.” I love the tender honesty of children.  Even if you have to find out the hard way that your perfume “comes from the butt of a whale.”  ha ha.
Today I saw a sad little boy eating his home lunch all alone in the dreary cafeteria. This place need some feng shuiing.   The cafeteria had pretty well cleared out. The storms had subsided and Mrs. O’Connor turned 4th grade loose to go outside again, emptying the place like a leaky oil pan down a storm drain.   I dumped my tray…..and seeing this child, chose to smile and sit down for a bit.  It was a good thing.  I think I cheered him up.  His name is Braedon (Something?)  He is in Ms. Keyes class.  He has a kidney disease and is not well.  It affects his over all disposition, level of consciousness, learning, and pretty much every aspect of life.  Some teachers speak ill of his behavior, as if it were a manipulation. In fact I was victim in hearing quite the informance just the day before in the lounge.  Try not to listen to these things.  I don’t think this is the case with respect to manipulation. Dunno. He does not look or act well in my estimation.  So, I spent some time chatting with him to see what motivates him, and to see just what makes him smile.  This was good.
Later…..as students were returning from last recess, he saw me standing in my classroom doorway, came to me and hugged me.  I just about melted in this heartfelt moment.  Then after school he came into my classroom again. Before he left…..again he hugged me.  I really felt he should have been in my class, but for some reason wasn’t place here.  That’s okay.  Everything is as it should be.  Only in time will we see the reason….often in hindsight.  I will still be there for him some how.  There is no way to measure the heart, or the love one feels.  And no test to be given or taken, thank goodness.  Only Jesus.  He is the standard.  The power lies in the giving with no thought of self, or for getting anything in return.  Still, joy comes.
Tomorrow Delanie and a bazillion other little girls will wrap up mini-clinic. I have been staying late to wait for her and to give rides.  Both days,  I found out later, she found another way home.  That’s okay.  Now that I have found my month-long lost cell phone, I will communicate a bit better.  Maybe. Or not.  Delanie will perform at the football field at 4 pm tomorrow, in preparing for the home game half time performance on Friday.
I took Delanie to the Watterson’s for a young women activity tonight.  Stopped by to say hello to Krisitne and Avery.  Today was Avery’s Birthday.  Found them in the yard just now, picking raspberries and grapes.  Chatted while picking.  Yumm.  I would love living somewhere where I could grow a ton of every type of berry, and grapes, and rhubarb, etc.  Impressed by the harvest that they received….even by Wanship standards…pretty amazing.  Kristine gave me a huge handfull to go.  Going to eat these for lunch tomorrow.  Yummm!  Baby Ben is a doll.  Roberto and Chadez, and maybe Steve and the other brothers are gone to Alaska for more than two weeks of fishing.  I envy them this adventure.  How would it be to have the time and the means to do this sort of thing.  It would keep me writing for months.  I would love to be a writer and to travel everywhere.  Even to Italy.
What if the law of attraction granted this wish?  Hmm.  Fun, and freaky to imagine my life in different ways.  I am both grateful for all I am blessed with in who I am now…..but also grateful for all that I can become in following other possibilities.  What to choose?  For now…I choose this and celebrate it.  Do you ever feel this way about missionary work.  Love it…..but know some day you will leave it. Just wondering.
I love you Donavon.  I am proud of you.  I hope you are happy and at peace with  the person you are becoming, and with the work you are doing.
We stopped by to see Granny Adkins after Brocston’s farewell on Sunday night. She is alwuz so grateful to have visitors.  I am sad she sits in lonely silence for hours on end.  Her soul awakens in the infrequent visits.  She says hello.  Also Laura Potter at school sends her love.  She said she thinks of you often.  This made me happy to hear.  There is great power in positive thought.
Anyway, we told Granny about the 100 year festivities.  She told us about being a little kid and what it was like back then in Wanship going to a two room school in the building that Brent and Joyce Ball live in.  Mrs. Magglebee taught 1st-3rd, and Mr. Joseph Beard taught 4th – 6th.  She shared about riding a horse to school, and about getting in trouble for talking in class.  How she had to stand in the corner with her nose on the wall.  How Mr. Beard said, “Empty wagons make the most noise!” embarassing her in front of all.  Granny told us about her horse that broke its leg and had to be put down when she was about 12 years old. And how she cried and cried.  Then how she and three other siblings had to ride old Mag, the big, white workhorse after that.  How she was on the back and how scared she was because the horse was not tame like her “Sailor” had been, but was very ornery, and rared up often when her brothers kicked her in the flanks, nearly throwing her off from her backmost position, as she was the oldest child seated.
All of this reminds me of a story we are reading at school about some Mexican-American kids who went to a rural one-room school, and lived on Rancho San Isidro, in Arizona, in the 1930s. He has to choose between two good things: going to school and earning perfect attendance, and a shiny silver dollar, or going on the annual Ramirez Family cattle drive.   For me…  School is extra good in spite of stress and pressure to perform.  I love it.  But I do miss you and your music/art lessons.  I may try this DJ thing you do/did……but it will never be the same without you and your playlist.  I love Pandora, and will likely use it, or youtube in sharing choice discoveries.
Each night I arrive at 9 pm thinking……”Where has the time gone?”  So much I wanted to do.  Gotta go to sleep.  Then it becomes 10 pm, or later before blessed dreams…..and swim in the morning.  Hooray!
I will send you some pictures and a handwritten letter as soon as I can.  Brocston did a fine job speaking.  The dinner was delicious- roasted chicken, potatoes, gravy, sides, salads, tons of deserts.  Sorry….this probably pales to authentic Italian cuisine.  Thanksgiving spread. We will not host Thanksgiving this year…..or maybe we will, only on a different day. 🙂 Planning on making the trip to see Justin in Mesa, AZ.   I made a goofy jello salad for Brocstons big day.    I wrote about it in my blog.  I will send some of this writing (not Jello) to you.
Love you sooooooooooooooo much.  Send pictures PLEASE!
Love, Mom 🙂

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About hrobertson2013

“Each man ( and mermaid) will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land”. Isa 32:2 NIV Warning: The author of this blog is not an ordinary individual. Even Mermaids need a rest from all that's real and grown up. Welcome to the wonder of blog. Come be audience to all that's wet and wild in her stories, poems and thoughts. Instructor by day, super hero by night, and mystical mermaid by summer. Whenever she has the fortune of diving into a pond, reservoir, or mountain waterfall, you'll find her there swimming, and singing songs of life.
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