Darla: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Spiritually Minded Women podcast. This is Darla.
I am so happy that you’re here today. I’m very happy to have a guest that you get to hear from today. She is my new friend, Elizabeth Robinson, and I’m very excited to hear about her journey on the covenant path. So Elizabeth, welcome.
Elisabeth: [00:00:43] Thank you so much. I’m so happy to be here.
Darla: [00:00:46] I am so happy to get to know you.
And we’ve just been chatting a little bit before we started the interview and I cannot wait to hear more about your journey. So just to start off, will you tell me a little bit more about you?
Elisabeth: [00:00:58] Sure. Yes. I’m actually from Brazil. I’m half Japanese, so I look very Asian, but I’m Brazilian. I grew up in Brazil.
I went to Japan for a little bit. I also served a mission there and came here for school, met a great guy and stayed. Yeah. I’ve been here for 20 years.
So I know you told me before you’re in Utah and you’re married to a cowboy, which I think that is so great. That’s so fun.
Darla: [00:01:25] Craziness.
You have a very unique journey. And one of the things that you told me when you submitted your application to be on the podcast that I really loved is that you it felt like you never fit into the cookie cutter mold and you didn’t realize this when you’re young, but as you grew up in the church, you felt like you didn’t fit the mold, the cookie cutter, whatever that is.
And I think that’s something a lot of people can relate to. So tell me about some of the circumstances of your life that, that made you feel that way as you were growing up.
Elisabeth: [00:01:51] So my dad passed when I was a month old and that was pretty normal. That’s all I knew. But I was growing up and quickly realized that I’m not gonna ever be the Bishop’s daughter.
My, my dad will never be somebody important in church and people will know me. So I felt pretty alone. It was my mom and me going to church. And I felt like a nobody. Yeah. That’s basically what it was. My mom was always faithful when we went. When we lived in Japan and I was 16, we had to travel two hours to go to church and when you’re 16, two hours is are you kidding me?
We don’t need to go every week, but we did. And I’m so grateful today that we did go, that all the experiences and sacrifices. Just built to my testimony and I’m so grateful. So
Darla: [00:02:50] yeah, I love that. It sounds like your mom was very faithful.
Elisabeth: [00:02:54] Yes.
Darla: [00:02:56] So you have this faithful mom and you’re growing up with this foundation of the gospel in Brazil and also Japan.
And at what point did you realize maybe I’m a little bit different and how did you navigate through those feelings?
Elisabeth: [00:03:08] For a minute I was feeling sorry for myself. And I was like, why me? Why is this so hard? And then I stumbled by a scripture that says that Heavenly Father will never give you more tribulation than you can handle.
So that just spoke to me and pierced my heart. And I realized that I could do this. I’m a nobody today, but maybe I’ll be a somebody tomorrow. And I decided that I was going to always be faithful and keep my covenant. And and I always prayed and wished for an eternal family, and this is what I have today.
I’m so thankful that I found a good man that loves the Lord and keeps his covenant. We have three rambunctious and wonderful boys. So that’s a dream come true for me. And I feel like, honestly, it’s just because every day I tried to keep the covenants. Some days are harder than others, but every day we try.
Darla: [00:04:15] I love that because I think that is such a key thing to remember that even if you don’t feel everything or you have everything that you want, or that you don’t fit, you do fit because of the covenants that you’ve made. And you’re a great example of just keeping pressing forward and keeping those covenants.
And that is what makes you belong. That’s those covenants are what bind you to God and give you, and you’re not nobody because you’re of infinite worth, no matter what you’ve done, no matter, even if you’ve not made covenants, you’re still have infinite worth to him and you’re somebody.
Elisabeth: [00:04:50] And I felt like a nobody, because that’s, that was my thought. It wasn’t true. I never felt like people didn’t pay attention to me. I had wonderful leaders, seminary, like everybody, included me and loved us, really wonderful bishops. So it was just me thinking that, but really no.
I was always a somebody important and I see how much Heavenly Father has orchestrated everything in my favor, so I could change my story. That’s how I feel.
Darla: [00:05:23] You took those things that you felt you were lacking and you just kept going and Heavenly Father has blessed you with a family and those things that you felt like you wanted when you were younger. I really love that. One of the things that you also told me when we were prepping for the interview was that you were a young women’s president in the past, and that you had many young women that you worked with that also have had those same feelings that you had as a teenager that felt like they didn’t fit the mold, or they didn’t belong. How did your experiences growing up help you as a young women’s president to help those young women?
Elisabeth: [00:05:56] Oh, the girls are so cute. I had 66 girls and they are so cute. Oh my gosh. So a lot of different situations, some where the parents were going through the divorce. One of the parents were not a member and were pretty vocal to be against the gospel. So all of that was had me on them and I told them that, this is today, but you can really change your story if you want to be married in the temple, make that decision today. Cause that’s what happened to me.
I made that decision when I was in young women’s. I wanted to change my story. So I know it’s hard, but there’s something to be learned and it’s so hard to see the lesson, right, when we’re going through.
Darla: [00:06:51] Especially for teenagers. No,
Elisabeth: [00:06:54] And they’re sensitive and I get it cause I was 16 once, but I just told them, you know what, just one day at a time don’t be overwhelmed.
And you can change your story. You can make it better. You can make your decisions. And Heavenly Father will always conspire in your favor, instead of, yeah. All the way like Heavenly Fatherreally is always orchestrating everything in our favor. Things that we don’t see it at the time.
Darla: [00:07:27] I think that’s good advice that you gave those young women to take things one day at a time, one step in their journey at a time and not get bogged down by all the other things that you may see in front of you. I think that’s good advice for anyone. I love that you’re saying, you can change your story but how do you think people can also navigate, just embracing that they’re different and that’s okay.
Elisabeth: [00:07:49] Yeah. I feel very different, I’m not blonde blue eyes. I don’t talk, I don’t play the piano. I tried.
I had to learn to love myself the way I am, even my flaws. Okay. It took me a long time to get to this point. But honestly, I feel like when we pray to Heavenly Father and we ask him, how do you feel about me?
He will tell you, and he will give you this assurance that it’s OK to be different and different is good. Some people need to see different and feel comfortable. Yeah. That’s how I felt. And it took me a while to get to this point, but I’m here now.
Darla: [00:08:44] So one of the, one of the things you said about your journey was that you did have, you had a faithful mother.
Definitely. From what you’ve told me, I can definitely see that. You also mentioned that you had bishops and seminary, teachers and leaders that helped you along the way. I’m just curious, if we’re seeing someone else that maybe we recognize that they are feeling like they don’t fit in, what can we do to help those people?
What did people do for you to help, that you belong and that you’re part of the gospel? What kinds of things did they do that helped you to keep going?
Elisabeth: [00:09:11] So simple things were like, just talking. Sometimes we need to say hi and talk about nothing really, how was your day?
What do you like? What’s your favorite foods? Something so simple, but it’s so personal. And the minute they feel like they understand, I feel like I had a wonderful seminary teacher and and she always asked me, talked to me and asked me like simple things.
How are you? How’s your school? How I don’t even know nothing really important to her, but I felt so loved and I felt like she cared about me. Like she didn’t care about my grades. It doesn’t matter to her, but it mattered to me. And she was always so nice to me. I had wonderful bishops that the same thing.
How are you? How’s school going? How’s your mom? How’s the relationship with your mom? And I just really felt love. I felt like they cared about me and that was wonderful. And I almost feel like maybe my dad was telling them go say, hi, go. I like to think that. That is comforting to me.
Darla: [00:10:31] But yeah, definitely that those that have passed on, he’s still your father and still has a role in your life.
I’m sure. So I don’t think that’s a stretch at all that your dad was prompting people to be there for you and to help you with those things. What do you think some of the things that you’ve learned in your own journey, what do you think is the, is something that you feel like you’ve learned that could really help somebody else?
Elisabeth: [00:10:56] So something that I learned very strong as in my heart is when I was young, I asked Heavenly Father, do you love me? Do you know who I am? Do you care about me? And it was, it hit me like a ton of brick, and I felt his love is that okay to cry? I’m like, maybe it’s okay to cry.
And I, that was. That was what I needed. And I remember I was in my laundry in Brazil. I was 14 and I was struggling because I realized, how am I going to do this? My dad’s not here. I’m really a nobody. And I prayed in the laundry room and I felt Heavenly Father say, first, I love you. I know who you are. And if you let me, I’ll guide you and.
And I promised Heavenly Father, I was going to let Him, and it has been the best thing for me. I really can’t do anything alone. That’s what I decided early on and is true. Now it’s still hard, some days about other things, kids and I don’t know, work other things, but still, I want to be guided by Heavenly Father.
Darla: [00:12:41] Yeah. I think that’s remarkable.
You have that experience so young at 14. How have you drawn upon that experience going through? I’m sure you’ve been through other things that have been hard in your life since then. How have you gone back and drawn upon that experience?
Elisabeth: [00:12:55] From time to time, I asked the same question without realizing that I already had that answer before.
And it brings back the memory of my laundry room, and I’m like, oh yeah, I know this, but can you tell me one more time that you love me Heavenly Father? And he does. So yesterday it’s so funny that our relief society stake presidency just sent a challenge kind of thing to ask how Heavenly Father feels about me, about us.
I do that. And immediately I remembered the laundry room. From time to time I asked the same question. And even when I finished the Book of Mormon, every time I prayed. I already know, but I pray just for me, so yeah.
I like to revisit and be reminded because the spirit reminds us, right, of the truth. So I do that from time to time.
Darla: [00:13:57] I really love that. And that’s something that anybody can do. If someone’s listening and they are struggling to know where their place is and what their journey on the path should look like, they can do exactly what you did in that laundry room.
You can do it anywhere. It doesn’t matter who you are, but you can pray and know and ask Heavenly Father, how do you feel about me?
Elisabeth: [00:14:19] Yeah. And one day at a time, right?
Darla: [00:14:22] That’s such good advice. And it’s even something that I know President Nelson has asked us in the last year to do that.
I remember a post that he did on Facebook. Oh, it’s been maybe over a year ago, he said that. Kneel down and ask Heavenly Father, how he feels about you. And everyone’s going to have a different experience. It may not come in the same way that it came for you, but he will reveal himself to you and he’s there.
And he really wants to be able to do that. I love how that, how you express that and are able to share that and draw them for you to be able to go back and draw upon it. I think that’s just wonderful. This has been, I really have loved learning from you. Is there anything else that you’re feeling like you wanted to share about your journey?
Elisabeth: [00:15:01] So I feel like my testimony was gained in, in, in my youth and then I served a mission. It was great. It was wonderful. So that was good. It was strong. It was what I needed at the time because in Brazil was crazy, right. People are they’re so liberal. Everything is fine. It’s okay. It’s open and do whatever you want. So that’s what I need to get through that.
But now my mom has Alzheimers, but it was my mom and me. And that has been so hard for me, the hardest thing I’ve ever done so far in my life. So it’s really one day at a time, and every day I have to pray and beg Heavenly Father to be with me and walk with me. Help me.
Every day and some days are terrible and some days are great. I want to tell you that if anybody is going through something and you feel like why? I’ve been through so much already, just one day the time, yeah.
Darla: [00:16:09] Yes, such good advice. And I love how for my perspective, looking in on your life, I can see a pattern that you ground yourself in knowing who you are by asking him how he feels about you, having that identity.
And then you just take it one day at a time. That is such great advice for anyone going through something hard and how you can draw upon that. Now you’re going through other hard things in your life, and you can go back and draw upon that. I really love your faith, Elisabeth and the way that you express it and I can’t thank you enough for coming on and sharing about that, but I do have one final question for you, and that is how have you seen and felt the Savior with you on your journey on the covenant path?
Elisabeth: [00:16:47] Oh, what a great question. I feel like the Savior is always there . Sometimes he’s quietly there, and I feel like, Hey, say something. Scream at me. I don’t see you. And then looking back, I’m like, oh my gosh, he was always there with me. The assurance to know that we’re not alone, it’s such a peaceful and gracious gift.
Because we all have days that we feel alone, that nobody understands, nobody has gone through this for me, but truly the Saviorhas gone through it and descended below even so he can lift us. Just that knowledge to me is just a gift. And gives me so much peace. I have a lot of anxiety and just knowing that I keep that close to my heart because my anxiety sometimes is over the top and I have to think, no, I’m okay.
I’m okay. And I know he is with me, especially in my hard days. I don’t see it then, but I see it after.
Darla: [00:18:05] Yeah. Oh, that’s a beautiful answer and such, such a great way to end. Elisabeth, thank you so much for being here.
Elisabeth: [00:18:11] Thank you so much. I love your podcasts and your posts. It’s so uplifting.
Thank you so much.
Darla: [00:18:21] And now here are this week’s journal questions. Even if you’ve asked before, take some time to be still and ask Heavenly Father how he feels about you. The answer may be something you feel quickly or may come over time. Either way, record your answer in your journal.
Elisabeth shared how other people such as seminary teachers and bishops. Helped her feel included and not alone. Think of someone you know, who may feel different from others. How can you help this person feel cared for and loved?
Pray and ponder about ways you can help show her or him, they are not alone.
One of the main messages that Elisabeth’s story illustrates is that when you know who you are and you take things one day at a time, you can change your story. What comes to your mind when you think about changing your story? How can you let God guide you?