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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

It has been a pretty interesting week for me, as you probably could guess. I received a phone call from President Nielsen on Tuesday at about 12:20 informing me that Grandpa had passed away. It was most saddening, and he encouraged me to pray for my family and especially my grandma at this time. I was glad however that the message got to me much sooner than when Grandma Five had passed away.

On Saturday about 15 minutes after 4 (Central time) I paused in prayer to feel more a part of the funeral. I did think about all of you. Though, having been to a funeral the week before probably helped me feel some closure. Thank you for informing me of this, and I wish grandma all of the best. Hang in there.

On Wednesday we had interviews with President Nielsen and we talked about grandpa some. He mentioned that it seems like the mission is having a trend of grandfathers passing away. He said there have been 7 since November, and someone's father passed away the week before. We talked a little about how I was doing, and I also asked a little bit about the soon to be new senior couple in the office. Apparently the guy served 18 months of his mission in the same area with the same companion, they had changed mission presidents while he was there and they must have forgotten about him or something.

We had invited a few guest speakers to district meeting to help break up the monotony of having the same Elders speak each week. One of the people we invited was Elder Gull (Church Ranch Service Missionary in Pawhuska, former patriarch, SLC Temple worker, and he came out just after I arrived). It was kind of interesting he wanted to talk about Isaiah 58. There were some good insights, but halfway through he changed topics. He also was pretty excited and hit the pulpit a time or two. The talk ended on the "your future wife will be the most important decision of your life" topic. He also went on saying, "sex is just the icing on the cake, but real love that is where the substance of the cake is." It was a kind of interesting topic since, 4 of the 6 of us go home within the next 5 months

President also mentioned some comments from Russell M. Nelson who had been in Joplin for their stake conference. He mentioned going to the First Presidency / Twelve meeting on the coming Thursday and telling them "You will never believe it. I went to a Missouri stake conference and there were people there from at least three states. Including people from Miami and Nevada." It's pretty funny since the states are Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas which are in the Joplin Stake and there are units in Miami, OK and Nevada, MO (pronounced Neh - Vay - dah).

Elder Nelson also mentioned a few comments to President about the "Passion of the Christ" when someone asked if he would see it. First off he said, it's rated R. Secondly, we know that there is more to the life of Christ than the resurrection. Thirdly a movie is more concerned about story line than the doctrine. Apparently, someone had even come up to him and said, "I heard that the Brethren had approved the movie." That was news to Elder Nelson.

Following interviews, Elder Slatter & I went on exchanges and we stayed here in Bartlesville 2nd. It was a pretty uneventful exchange. Though, this one was kind of necessary since Independence had some baptismal interviews to be performed.

Thursday it rained like mad and there was quite a bit of flooding. Elder Green & I had to turn around and make quite a few detours in the car (yeah...more miles!) to get around some flooded parts of the town. It wasn't too bad, but I certainly haven't seen anything like it back home. Though, when talking with members about it they say "oh yeah, that street always floods when there is water." So, if you live here you get used to it.

The excitement of the week was that our new member dad got to bless the sacrament on Sunday. He did a fine job. One member said, "You did a fine job." He replied, "I just felt I always have here." So, it went well and Elder Green & I were up there doing it with him. The young man who was also just baptized passed the sacrament this week, since he blessed the week before. So, things are going really well on that end of the spectrum.

Fast & Testimony was pretty spiritual and went over really well. We had Stake President Lovell there to boot. Though the real kicker is we had the Young Women's General President there (I believe it's Sister Susan Tanner). That was kind of a surprise. I believe that they were filming some kind of young women's video with the girls in First Ward. We met a church video employee earlier in the week as he was scoping out the building for shooting.

Since you asked, yep our new member family is planning to go to the temple in a year. They are very much looking forward to it, that and home teaching for some reason.

I forgot to mention the other Church policy change in my previous letters. The brethren have requested that there be no potlucks immediately following church. It doesn't affect us back home much, but out here in small branches it's pretty popular. Poteau did one a month. I can easily see the reasoning behind this one and it seems like a good idea.

Elder Green wanted to have something to play on the piano at his final Zone Conference (or possibly homecoming). So, we have bought some manuscript paper, at the local guitar shop of course. The guy suggested we buy manuscript paper with tablatures, I told him that we would be fine with plain manuscript. So, I have been composing some short transitions from piece to piece. It is a pretty good experience, and is going a little better than I expected. Elder Green is pretty happy with what we have come up with so far. I will be sure to make myself a copy of it.

I received a letter from Rebecca Pease this week (Dan's former BYU girlfriend). She is engaged to be married on June 10th. So, that is pretty exciting. Unlike most missionaries from Utah this is the first friend I have that is getting married. That is some good news, and I will of course wish her all the best.

I believe that I received a Valentine's Day card with dinero from the Gramm-o. (Like the rhyme?) I also received a post card dated 2-25. I greatly appreciate hearing from her. My thoughts and prayers are with her at this tough time. Of course, let me know if there is anything I can do. I really wish that I could be there.

That is pretty much it on my end. Hopefully you enjoyed this letter. If not, please respond anyway and act like you did. Yep, that is what you should do. Anyways, I love and miss you all so much. Thank you mom for informing my friends about Grandpa's death. Good luck with the Quintadina dad, it's looking pretty good! Squirt, keep chewing on dog food. And, Thumper stay dry!

Take care one and all.

Elder Mike Robinson