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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

This week has also been another interesting one. The exciting news is that our recent convert found himself a job. He will be working driving a cement mixer for the new Wal-Mart Distribution Center that they are constructing near Ochelata. He started today.

We helped him on his house this week. I put up a lot of bug screens and helped build a little wall to help keep more of the moisture from coming into the house. We also cut some holes in the cement to help drainage. That was kind of interesting, and expensive to rent the equipment. It also appears that the circuit breaker is done, exciting! We also went to an instructional class at Lowe's on Saturday. So, I got further informed how to install Ceramic tile...which I got to do a little bit in Miami. He gave us a ride back home, since we had biked down there. We were very glad, it is much more uphill on the way back.

The sad part of the week was on Tuesday. I parked my bike in an inactive's drive way and we went in an visited with him. One of his friends shows up, and seeing the two bicycles hits mine with his truck. He probably just did it as a "joke" since he has had some issues with the missionaries in the past. Of course, I was a little upset but I can't lash out at the guy. The bright side is that he did it at a slow speed and my bicycle didn't break. I think he bent a spoke or two, made one of my wheels very non-true, further messed up my derailleur, etc. but it still ran. Luckily, I know how to fix all that and have pretty much completed the repairs, it just took a little while. As always, you never can quite get it to what it used to be. But, I think its fine now. Luckily we had quite a few rainy days and time to fix it.

On Monday I received a letter from the Stake President. He informed me that my mission was nearing a close and included an article by Bishop Brett London that reflected the stake presidency's views on ending your mission, and returning to life. It was kind of interesting and President Woffinden said that the article would be discussed with him upon my return. One thing it basically said was "If you have been home from your mission for two years, and your mission was still the best two years of your life, you have missed the boat since the mission is a commencement of your life and spiritual growth." I liked that, and shared the idea in District meeting when I was giving a talk on Timing.

On Wednesday we had our District meeting as well as interviews with President Nielsen. President Nielsen of course asked me how things were going, how I was doing, etc. He then pulled out a paper and told me he had received it from BYU and that he would have to make an ecclesiastical endorsement for me. He said he just had to answer two questions, "Has or will this missionary complete an honorable full mission?" and also, "Do you endorse this missionary?" I mentioned that the endorsement is much simpler than the one they make bishops fill out. To which President responded, "yep...they take it easy on you as a missionary." He also asked me if I was familiar with the honor code and agreed to live it.

We then talked a bit about transfer possibilities. To me, it seems very likely that I will get transferred, not that I want to but it will probably happen. President doesn't seem so keen on six week last areas. However, that got us talking about six week areas and I told him that I had two already. He asked Miami and where else? I informed him Mountain Home and he mentioned that it is about time to take the Sister missionaries out of there. We talked about Mountain Home then, so don't be surprised I might end up back that way. Though, things seem to be going well in Mountain Home.

This week has been really rainy. So, Elder Green and I have been doing quite a bit of walking and the work hasn't been going nearly as fast. Elder Green and I felt like wet dogs a few of the times we were walking around. Though, as soon as we get the car on Sunday it is bright and Sunny. There were a few tornadoes in Tulsa this past week. Luckily, nothing came to close to us, but there was some pretty bad lightning and the possibility that it could move up here. Interestingly enough, President informed us that a tornado touched down on the Oral Roberts campus. Though, it touched down and just went back up.

Due to the possibility of transfers, I have been packing a few boxes to send home. Luckily, I have a pretty good idea of what I truly need now and the winter clothing will be coming home. I also have a box of papers and books which is pretty heavy. So, lift with your knees not your back. That one will be sent media mail, so it shouldn't be too expensive. Be on the look out for boxes in the coming weeks.

Sunday we had a pretty spiritual sacrament meeting. The spirit was pretty strong, and even our recent convert was saying he felt good and just like he had a lot of things answered. Mostly just talks on feeling and acting on the spirit. One of the speakers, used to be a bishop and was sharing many of his stories and a few of other peoples. He commented on how his wife didn't like how he prepared talks, just a 3 x 5 card with a few ideas. Which, in my opinion might add to the feel the spirit approach to talk giving. He also mentioned a general authority who had been told to never make notes and just talk on what he felt impressed to. He said that the man gave many successful talks, but felt "forsaken" a couple of times as well. Kind of interesting. It was a missionary farewell for a young man who is going to Boise, Idaho. Of course, everyone gets a good laugh out of where he is going...probably due to the fact it was the joke mission in Singles Ward.

We had an open house for the ward organist who is moving to Utah. It was kind of nice, I made sure to tell him "at least you are going to the land of better music stores." He replied, "that is for sure, but at least Day Murray has a nice website." He also mentioned how in packing he found a lot of things he didn't know he had. That comment, is something I could just see dad saying. He was also talking about the music he found and wished he had known he had it sooner. We said good bye, but mainly showed up for the free food. In fact, the second we walked in the door everyone was pointing us to the food table. That was a little distressing. People were more concerned about us eating than I was. We got to take home a lot of extra cookies though. The ward chorister and family were commenting on who would be the next organist. They had heard me playing before church on the piano and said I should take the job. I of course let them knew I was no organist yet, and that I would probably be gone on Friday. When I told them that dad was, they recommend I convert him, "to Bartlesville". Though, it does seem to be a pretty good place to retire. It was nice to see quite a few new faces due to the farewell, and of course quite a few people were back from college.

It is really interesting to hear that Mark's mission is splitting. That is definitely not the case out here in the OTM. In fact, as I was talking with President we have to close another 4 to 5 areas this coming transfer due to the lack of missionaries. He said that we would finally get some more missionaries coming out than were going home in June if all goes as planned. He said we had about 182 missionaries (including senior couples) right now, whereas when he arrived there was 195. I believe the number of young men the correct ages to serve a mission has decreased as well as the "raise the bar" standard has caused a decrease worldwide in missionaries.

Currently, we don't have a lot of people we are teaching right now. But, we have been receiving quite a few media referrals. Many of these so far have not been promising, but most of them are for the Finding Faith in Christ video, since a lot of the commercials were played for Easter. Sadly, most of them are pretty hard to get a hold of.

Though, I did meet a family this week that is inactive and I had taught quite a few practice discussions to when I was certifying in Bartlesville the first time. They have moved to Second Ward. The man's first question he had for us was, "Why does the prophet say that men should only have one pair of ear rings?" Needless to say this was a sensitive subject to him and I explained that the comment was directed at women and explained it a bit more. He expressed some desire to serve as a senior missionary couple a long time down the road. Though, he does have ear rings himself. Oh well, they are very nice to us, more so than a lot of people. That is what is most important I think.

Anyways, I hope that you had an enjoyable Administrative professionals day as well as Earth Day. Would you believe no one sent me a "Happy Earth day card"? Not that I was expecting one. Best of luck to all of you, I miss you greatly. It is hard to believe that the last phone call is just around the corner. Take care!

Elder Mike Robinson