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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Parents,

I hope your week has been going well. It has been thrilling as usual to receive your letters. Also, I wanted to let you know that today's is my one year anniversary of being ordained an Elder in the Church. Thank you so much for flying up to Utah, Dad. Being as busy as we are, whenever I think of something in the past, it is usually a happy memory. For an example of our busy schedule, we just taught a couple for 2 hours on our P-day.

Now, when Mom asked how the Scout program is in Bartlesville, I can honestly answer that I have no idea. We don't deal much with those programs in the Church. Though, I do know that the local Scout council is headquartered in Bartlesville, if that says anything.

I am also pleased to hear that Mom enjoyed her pass along cards. If you ever want a complete set or more of a particular one, just let me know.

Okay, now on to the food questions. We make all of our own breakfasts and lunches. We cook all of our dinners except when Ward members feed us (usually 4 times a week). The typical lunch is a sandwich of some sort. We cooked dinner and had venison (deer meat, which a Ward member gave us from a hunting trip) mixed into hamburger helper. So the cuisine isn't excellent but it is pretty good.

Also, the question you have been dying to know ... Yes, I have greatly cut my soda consumption. No way you can stay hydrated on a bike all day when drinking lots of soda. So, I drink a lot of water ... however, my companion and I started getting a little bit light headed. So we have started drinking Gatorade. And yes, we take a Centrum vitamin each day.

And I am a lot like Dad in the fact that I don't want to spend too much money. My companion says something like "let's get pancakes" and I reply with "that means we need syrup as well, and besides we already have cereal." However, he usually wins most of the disputes since I realize we probably ought to have some variety in food.

I got to fix the Oklahoma Historical Society computer because we were visiting an inactive member who works at the historical building (Frank Phillip's home). So she asked about my college and my major and I ended up fixing a computer.

Nothing too special is going on in Bartlesville for Sept. 11th. However Pawhuska's high school is putting on a big show. Though since they are a small town, their definition of a big show varies quite a bit from the California definition. Though, being a missionary, all I can do is wear my patriotic tie.

In the way of memorization, I should be done with the second (of six) discussions this week. Some weeks are better than others for memorization. However, it's coming along okay... and my companion is very knowledgeable, if I get into too much trouble.

Dad, as of right now .. I do not know what the Ward organ is. I will look into it. Though, I know the Ward organist played the piano since the age of seven. He tinkered on the organ when he joined the church, while serving in the Army in Germany. He is pretty proficient, but no Joe Robinson. In the Pawhuska branch we only have a piano. We have a woman who plays the piano. She has a master's degree in piano performance (so she might rival Victoria). So, the music I am hearing on Sunday is pretty good.

District meeting is 3 groups of Elders in a relatively close proximity. We discuss our investigators, see how we compare to the rest of the mission (# wise) and share ideas on how to improve our work. We hold this 2 hour meeting weekly. We have the Elders from the other Bartlesville Ward and from Independence, Kansas (I got to go there for a day) join us for the day.

I am enjoying the bike riding. I actually enjoy it more than when we have the car. We usually ride some every day (except Sundays, because we have a lot to do that day.)We do not ride our bikes to Pawhuska. Riding 27 miles on a 2 lane road without a shoulder isn't exactly safe. An Elder got killed about 25 years ago in Bartlesville on a 2 lane road. So, I am staying safe. A member in our Ward is a dentist in Pawhuska. He gives us and our bikes a ride down there and a Pawhuska member drives us back at night. Also of note is about half the branch works on a giant church cattle ranch near Pawhuska.

Anyways, I should go now. Do know that my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Elder Michael Robinson