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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

Well there have been a lot of problems getting the last few e-mails off to you, I guess. I have tried sending them, and all seems normal on my end. I do not know what is going on with it, and because we only access it once a week, it is hard to tell what is going on or to diagnose the true problem right now. But anyways, hopefully you got my e-mail from January 13 and a written letter from the following week by now. Also, hopefully this e-mail gets to you as well. Let me know if it does.

The highlight of this past week was definitely Saturday. We worked on our investigator's house again as usual. I got to finish up a little bit of insulation (apparently, I can cut it pretty well) and ran some television & telephone cable. Though, we got started early. They picked us & the First Ward Elders (Elders Hightower & Wolfgramm) at 6:30 a.m. and we got a pig. Yep, we went to Pawhuska and picked up a 60 (or so) pound pig. It was pretty tiny, but amazingly we fed about 14 people off of it. Elder Wolfgramm is part Tongan, and so showed us how to kill, clean and cook the pig. Sure, it was a long boring process of continually rotating it, but it was pretty cool. Some people ate the tongue and brain, but I restrained myself and just had some ribs, skin, and some meat. I really enjoyed it, though I wasn't the fondest of the skin. It was a different experience, and I took a few pictures as well.

Also of interest is that President Nielsen showed up at the Bartlesville church on Sunday. He showed up for the First Ward, but we saw him as we were trading the car (we are now on foot). One of the First Ward members, told Sister Nielsen about me and said, "If he got to return to Bartlesville he must be doing something right."

Our investigators talked with Bishop Coffman (of the1st ward) on Sunday about the wedding. He is the one that will be performing the ceremony because our bishop, Bishop John, will be out of town. Bishop Coffman wants a really simple, small, relief society wedding as the handbook suggests keeping the focus on the temple. However, our investigators recognize the temples significance, but it is Chasity's fourth marriage and the first that her dad is coming to, to have an opportunity to give her away. With so many people coming in from out of town, and lots of kids it will probably be pretty big. We talked with Bishop John to see if he would tell Bishop Coffman about the circumstances, and he agreed everyone had valid points. We will see how it goes, I may or may not be playing the wedding march, because we may or may not be having that part of the ceremony. I will let you know, the wedding & baptism is scheduled for the 31st of January. So, we should have a pretty good week.

We have Elder Slatter coming down to interview our investigators on Wednesday. He wants to go on exchanges in conjunction with that. President will also interview us that morning. It should be interesting.

Something of interest to dad is about Elder Green's father. He is my first companion to have a father also with a Masters degree in music. His dad is a pianist and has about 18 piano students. He just recently quit his job working for a company that produces software for workers compensation cases. Though, Elder Green & I both hope to pick up a bit more music training upon returning home. I just thought it was kind of interesting.

The Sea Base prices mom sent to me were pretty excessive. I assume they are trying to cover some of the cost of the new building from them. Would I pay that much? Only if you had a quality instructor, like a Mike Robinson or something. Just kidding, I think they are too high. Be glad that I was a scout when I was. The schedule is lined up better, and I probably would have been able to get a few more hours now.

Mom also mentioned the LDS book section in a Wal-Mart in Arizona. That doesn't surprise me, because Wal-Mart tries to hamper competion and make a big buck. They have quite a few LDS employees (hence the 2 big Bentonville Wards), and so can easily cater to our community. For example, I saw the RM at the Bartlesville Wal-Mart. Something you wouldn't expect, but I know that one of the head honchos of the corporate video purchasing is LDS. So, it is not that shocking.

Dad also mentioned a drive-by shooting near mission hospital. It is saddening, but Mission Viejo is not immune. Our Zone Leader (Elder Jacobsen) was actually proud that he saw one in his area and advertised that fact at Zone Conference. It was a typical one, a dark Crown Victoria passed by the same street like 3 times before opening the window & firing. Interesting thing is that they are teaching the victims cousin, who had been a victim a few months before. Anyways, the Zone Leader is in Tulsa, so that is not surprising at all. Hopefully the crime doesn't go up too much more in good old Mission Viejo.

Well, that is about all the time that I have today. I miss you all so much and wish you all the best. Take care and enjoy the sunny weather. It is snowing here today! Kind of funny, people are driving really, really slow. Much slower than Utah. Oh well, and we are without the car. We will just see what happens. Take care and I hope you get this.

Elder Mike Robinson