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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

It has been a pretty interesting week, but I think most of this letter will probably be commenting on stuff you have mentioned in your letters, but either way we shall see how it goes.

I guess the most pressing matter for your information is probably the Mother's Day call. Sadly, there is not much I know about that. I asked Elder Green when his parents have church and he hasn't a clue. Secondly, no one has signed up to feed us (probably because all the mothers are hoping the fathers cook something), so I cannot tell you what will happen in those regards. So, our schedule is kind of unknown. We have people that allow us to come over for dinner on Sundays if we don't have an appointment, so they usually have us 5:30 or 6 till about 7:15 (CST). So, they are the most likely ones to feed us, but someone might sign up. I will try to get your more information a little later. We are at the church from 8:00 AM until about 1:00 PM (CST) for your information. Though, Elder Green said his parents would probably be willing to skip church if they had to. Either way, sorry I can't tell you more. Hard to believe it's only a week away.

So you know though, Mother's day is not the only day we are lacking for dinner appointments this coming week. It is amazingly empty, so empty that one of the families who fed us up last week called and said what day can they feed us. We were lacking, today, tomorrow, Friday, and Sunday (Mother's day) and this was after we received cancellations this past Friday & Saturday. So, for some reason things are a little slow in that department. However, the week after seems pretty full.

The last District meeting went fairly well. I had to give a brief spiritual thought. So, as to share something different I decided to share the good old parable of the remote control Lamborghini. It seemed like a good one to share, and a few missionaries seemed kind of amused by the tale. Of course, we had District meeting on Wednesday expecting transfer news afterward, but it was of course delayed. I finally received transfer information at about 1:30 when I personally called the Zone Leader. It was a surprise that I was staying, but by certain developments I suspected I was staying by Wednesday morning. Either way, I accurately predicted over 1/3 of the District (2 out of 6 were going home...which is 1/3).

Since we did not know if we were staying or going, we had scheduled a giant fajita party with our recent convert family. It turned out to be congratulations that most everyone is staying party. The only change Elder Hightower of the First Ward went home. So, he came and enjoyed some fajitas

Since dad was mentioning labeling circuit breakers, I will say that we sure did label them. We even have a diagram (like a schematic) that shows each outlet, plug, etc. and what breaker they are on. So it is done well. Though, congratulations on finally labeling the circuit breaker on the home front dad! It certainly is about time, I can imagine how annoying it is. Our convert thinks he can even use his to help enforce punishments. When you send kids to their room and tell them no TV, you can turn off the outlets.

One interesting thing we found out in our PEC meeting is that they will be doing away with area presidencies. The areas will now be presided over by one of the presidents of the seventy. That was kind of interesting and unexpected, but probably a good change. Later we had Elder's Quorum. We were talking about improving home teaching visits. We said that time frame was one of the most critical things (Which made me think of your letter to me). The quorum concluded that one hour is pushing the envelope to too long. We also concluded one minute is generally too short. But, they seemed to think the optimal range was 15-30 minutes. Just in case you were curious. They also mentioned that in being sensitive to time frame you have to remember certain inactives wouldn't want you there during their favorite TV programs, which I thought should apply to many of the active members as well. Either way, they said do a self evaluation. Don't satisfy yourself that they are smiling as you leave. They might be smiling due to the visit, or that you are leaving.

We also talked this week with member that had served as a supervisor in the Dallas temple for a few years. It was probably the most uplifting conversation of the week. He told us something interesting. If you go to the temples at the right time (for example last session on Friday at Manti, when all the live actors are rattling off the words quickly so they can get out of there) and just sit in the celestial room afterwards for awhile, someone will come up to you and ask if they can help you with anything. If you ask politely, like "Well, I'm from out of town and know that there is some history associated with this temple and was wondering if you or someone else could expound upon it for me." He said sometimes they are willing to give you a bit of a "mini-tour" since the session ran short. Kind of an interesting idea. But, we had an enjoyable conversation.

I received a wedding announcement from Rebecca Pease (BYU friend). That was great to see. She will be married in June in the Washington DC temple. They are having an open house in Utah. I was wondering if I had anything going on September 11, 2004 from 6-8PM (MST) (check school calendar I guess). They want an RSVP, but I could send that after I get home...they want it by August some time.

It is good to hear that the missionaries back home know if they are leaving on a Sunday. I sure wish we did. The funny part is 2 people told me to come over or inform them if I was leaving. They were the only two people to go "you're still here." Though, I didn't tell the whole ward or anything transfers were coming up. It was just kind of funny. So, it looks like at least 9 months of my mission will be in Bartlesville. We shall see if I leave next time.

One interesting thing that Elder Green pointed out to me is that you are aware how they are trying to get rid of the term "splits" and call it "companionship exchanges". Well, on the missionary blue planner (our schedule) at the top it has the word splits in that context. Kind of interesting.

I was wondering if dad had quite a few of his old missionary cards still. I will probably have quite a few extra of my own as well. But, I was wondering if I could get one of his. I still remember his talk about them in my farewell. But, only send one if you have a bunch and you can still find them. Don't waste a ton of time looking for them, just if they are easily accessible.

I appreciated receiving grandpa's eulogy from Grandma this past week. It was touching to read it, and remember him more. It sounds like Brother Hoffman did a fine job. I am glad that all has gone well so far. I am sure that Grandma and I will get out and do some things before I shuffle off to college.

Anyways, that is about it for now. I have got to get going. But I miss you greatly, and am looking forward to speaking with you. Take care and best wishes.

Elder Mike Robinson