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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

Well it has been a pretty eventful week. Monday to Tuesday night I went on exchanges with Elder Hightower (from 1st ward) in my area. It was a pretty good exchange.

Wednesday we had Zone Conference in Tulsa. It was an all right conference. The exciting news was "We have finished all the missionary manners videos." Then Sister Nielsen immediately said, "But, we will be starting them again next transfer." President also informed us that of all the missions in the U.S. & Canada (I think there is 113 of them), ours is ranked 5th in vehicle safety. Which is encouraging? There was also a stress on staying with your companion. President mentioned an article from an Arkansas paper that they had showed us many times about a missionary serving in Las Vegas who got accused of doing things to children in the nursery room with the door open during church. However, he said that he didn't have to show us that again since he has had his own sad experience of sending a missionary home for being separated. He of course did not relate any details. He also said he had many stories he wanted to share with us of the stupid things he has seen, but decided it would be best to wait for a season of missionaries to pass. Other than that the focus was on keeping our covenants. Most of the videos we saw, I had seen before when President Peterson was here. So, Zone Conference wasn't bad.

Immediately following Zone Conference, Elder Gleave & I made our bicycle trades. He gave me his V-brakes, rims, and tire and I gave him my disc compatible rims. He mainly was getting rid of stuff to upgrade, so I got the better end of the deal. But, I did polish up my rims so they were nice & shiny to help make up for it. I asked him if he had brought the mounts for the V-brakes, and he said "no, I didn't have a tool to remove them". This was most disheartening since I had called the Zone Leader telling him to be sure to get those since I didn't have any and without them I had no brakes. Well, he said he would send me his in the mail. also visited the local bike shop & Lowes looking for something that worked, but to no avail. I also called up Liahona, and if the guy understood what I was talking about I should be getting them (but I am not going to bet on that). I found 2 at the First Ward apartment, and Elder Slatter said he will bring 2 he has down tomorrow. So right now, I only have a working back brake and we gave the car to first ward on Sunday. So, we will be doing a bit of walking till we get it all fixed. But, the good news is that my bicycle is significantly lighter. There are a few minor problems with the trade, but once I get the brakes working I should be happy (which will probably be in just a day or two).

On Thursday we helped some people move temporarily into our ward. They are planning to move into the country when they get organized. It was the most interesting move I have had in a long time. There were not really any boxes of stuff in their U-Haul. There was a really heavy slow smoke cooker that the husband had welded himself ages ago, which wouldn't roll down the ramp, which of course meant we lifted it down. The strange part was a lot of the stuff they were moving was trash. Empty cans & bottles of stuff, the siding off their last house. But the move went well

Friday night, we went to the ward fish fry. It was quite a nice event. I really enjoyed it. Quite a few people came, our new convert and his family showed up a little late. We talked with quite a few people and enjoyed ourselves. As we were talking with them immediately following clean up, some of his kids and others started playing basketball. There came a point where one of them was holding the ball over his head wanting to throw the ball into play from behind the half court line. I instantly knocked the ball out of his hand and then with not much thought tossed it at the basket. All the kids were yelling "miss". But, such was not the case. It was one of those picture perfect shots where the ball doesn't even hit the rim and just goes right on in. They started jokingly bowing down to me saying I "hid my sports talent." The Elders Quorum President came up and commented, "Now let's see you do that at the stake center." Because, the lines in our gym are a little small. Though, it was amazing to do that from behind half court, and I didn't want to take any more shots that night, knowing that I would probably miss it. But I did let everyone know that the shot was not my normal one.

It was interesting to hear President Monson mention his basketball experiences in the priesthood session of conference. Especially after I had my amazing shot. Also interesting was President Hinckley stating "I wonder what would happen if I forgot to turn my clock forward." My guess is that he arrives so early it probably wouldn't make much difference. Overall it was a pretty good conference, with the focus on that the family. Quite a few people showed up at the church building. Be prepared to play some on the organ when I get home dad! The conference was good, and it is sad to hear sister Hinkcley isn't doing so well.

Dad mentioned a black man at the water meter looking in on the rabbit. That is very strange. I wouldn't believe the rabbit story; I would think he was up to no good at that time of day looking to the yard. But, at least everything is all right. I am glad to hear that Squirt & Thumper are in fact friends. Was there a little tension at first? How did Squirt take to having another rabbit besides Clyde around?

Dad also mentioned having High School band girls in his organ class. I am glad to hear that they were doing so well. It is amazing how well music carries over from one instrument to another. I truly am amazed. Now dad can rest that the class is over.

Mom mentioned that the home Wal-Mart was remodeled. I don't think that the excitement out there would be the same as it would be out here. It would be the talk all over town. Though, we did have the Wal-Mart adjust from 3 to 2 doors on both sides of the store. That was interesting and random.

Elder John Green did not leave with a long list of people to say Hi to in Nixa. He did not want to have a "biased" opinion of the people or the area despite my excitement to share them with him. So, hopefully he says hello to some people for me. From what I gather he is doing well.

That is about it for my end here. Things are going fairly well. I want to thank you & grandma as well for your Easter cards. It is nice to know that I am being thought of. Though, I must say it seems like it's been a little while since I have received a letter from my less regular writers (aka the once-a-monthers). Oh well, thanks to all those that write it is a true joy to receive mail.

May you all have a great Easter. I miss you all so dearly.

Elder Mike Robinson