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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

It has been another pretty good week. Quite a few things happened. A few more than I had remembered.

Monday night we went to the home of one of the counselors in the Stake Presidency for dinner. We had a pretty good lasagna meal followed by a dessert that Elder Green has made a ton. He calls it the "next best thing to Robert Redford", but we doubt that is the real name. The meal was great, and we left a pretty good spiritual thought. They were nice and I enjoyed being there. He also informed us that they are discontinuing the Know Your Religion series as well as a few other changes in Church policy. It was pretty interesting.

Tuesday Elder Green went on exchanges (aka splits) up to Independence, KS to conduct a baptismal interview. The person passed, but her nine year old daughter wants to be baptized as well. So Elder Green has to go up there again to interview her daughter tonight. It does not look like we can find a ride this time, and will have to sacrifice the miles on the car (not the greatest after we just went to Tulsa for Zone Conference).

One night we went over to our recent convert's house and enjoyed a little dinner. One interesting thing that happened was while we were there. Their youngest son came in asking for a few Bibles & Book of Mormons. We asked him what they were for; he said "we are playing Primary". They let him borrow some and told him to be careful with them. A few minutes later, we hear a Primary CD blaring. We were told that they got it at the Primary activity on Saturday and since then they have had to ask them to turn it down quite a bit, so they can make some phone calls. It is kind of cute and different. They also told us of how one day the family had been studying and didn't clean up afterwards and the next time he came into the room he never imagined that his house would be messed up with the gospel materials. Pretty interesting experiences.

We spent some time experiencing the local urban legends this week. There is a hill known as "Gravity Hill" where you stop the car, then go into neutral and you go up hill. The story goes some slaves escaped and took the owners car but couldn't get it out of neutral in there escape, and so they push whoever is there in neutral. It is a very old legend, and most of the adults know about it. The top is near N 3940 Rd. and the bottom is at the corner of W 2400 Rd. & Gap Rd. Elder Green & I both believe that it has something to do with the way the road is. Though it is kind of interesting. We even tried going down the hill backwards, and it performed the same.

There was also a "Mexican graveyard" which if you came by at night, you run in about 100 feet with your car on high beams and you supposedly hear people speaking in Spanish and you can't see your lights. I don't believe this one at all, and it didn't even look like a graveyard to me. The fence said, "Casa Manana" or house of tomorrow. It was right near gravity hill as well. We didn't try this one; we would have been trespassing on private property.

Sunday was pretty funny in our before church PEC meeting. We were asked if there was anything else. We responded, we just need more people to teach, we have pretty much baptized our teaching pool. One member responded, "Oh let me take a note of that" and opened up his planner. It was pretty funny since he made it seem like we were announcing something out of the ordinary.

Saturday, we went and worked out at to our new member's house. It is coming along nicely, and we are almost ready for sheet rock. I got to run & cement some PVC pipe for it. So, a bit more home learning going on. We enjoyed a nice buffet dinner with a member family that night (they sent you a letter). Though, Valentine's Day is never a missionary's dream holiday. But, at least mail still comes!

On Sunday our two male baptisms both received the Aaronic Priesthood. It was pretty fun going around during priesthood meeting to do that. We felt the spirit pretty strong both times. I am very glad we could be a part of all those.

We have a few rather warm days. It has been in the 40's I think. It feels really warm after what we have been in, and I am thinking "man heat wave, I want to take off the suit coat". It sounds like we should be having a pretty warm week.

Monday we drove down to Tulsa for zone conference. It was car cleanliness competition again. Since we had worked at the member's house on Saturday, church on Sunday, we had to clean the car Monday morning. I believe it was 24 degrees at the time. So, I am a little panicked remembering the last time I washed a car at those temperatures. However, we had some frost on our windows before and the wash didn't freeze this time. The vacuum hose we were using for the time didn't work well either. We didn't even check tire pressure due to a lack of time. We got a "good" on the inspection.

I had to give a talk at zone conference. The topic was "Obedience as a principle of power". I felt my talk was a little different than what we had always been talking about and a few mentioned enjoying it. I felt limited by the 10 minute time limit.

President talked on becoming excellent and not just average or mediocre. The quote, "when you are average you are just as far from the top as you are from the bottom" seemed to ring true. He also talked about a talk from an Apostle (Elder Hales I believe) that mentioned a study of airplane crashes. In this study, 98% were due to pilot error. The errors were divided into four categories. Invulnerability, Machoism, Impulsivity, and anti-authority. It was funny; president asked a missionary "when should you never go shopping?" The response was "any day other than preparation day." President said "no, no, no, that's not what I meant but good answer." Someone else responded correctly, "When you are hungry." We were talking about impulsiveness. So, that talk was pretty good.

One interesting thing is that the car that won the Tulsa East zone conference car competition (we are Tulsa) didn't have hub caps. President said when he first saw it, he wondered if it was one of our cars. Without the hubcaps he thought it looked more like a race car. We kept our car through the competition, so I am pretty happy. That is all I wanted (we have a 2003 maroon Malibu).

I want to make sure that you received my film in addition to my letter about my camera, please let me know. I received your belated birthday / Valentines package (from UPS) a while ago, if that was the one you were asking about.

That is about it on my end for now, I hope all is going well and hope you enjoyed your president's day weekend. Thank you for also forwarding Laura's new address. Best wishes to all of you. Thanks for all of your support. I still miss & love you all.

Elder Mike Robinson