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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

Dear Family,

Well another week has been completed. Man time is growing short, which is kind of hard to believe. I probably can say what President says to most missionaries going home, "You can count your time on two hands." When this was said to Elder Weeks, he responded "That's not hard I can do it on one: one month, two months." President then explained he meant weeks left. Kind of interesting. Though, this week has been pretty jam packed with a lot of things, including some good dinner appointments.

Anyways, on Tuesday we had a District meeting. The first item of business in the meeting was an impromptu talk. The topic was love. I instantly pulled out a talk I had given on love in a District meeting long ago. Needless to say, I wasn't called on to give the talk. But it does show that we are talking about the same topics as missionaries. After some other talks, our Zone Leader got up and gave a talk about sacrifice. He used some great scriptural examples. One scriptural example he used on sacrifice came from Acts 5. He was talking about Ananias & Sapphira not sacrificing and living the law of consecration. After the meeting, I expressed to Elder Green that in my opinion that the real problem was that they conspired and lied about it...straight to an Apostle. I am sure there are plenty of people that didn't live the law properly. Anyways, he told us we have to sacrifice everything for the Lord. A true principle.

I called up Wal-Mart this passed week and got a bike box. It was made for a 24" frame according to the box. Interesting thing, if you disassemble my bicycle properly it would not fit in the box. I only have a 21" frame to boot, so something is fishy. I could just put the actual frame in there, but tires won't fit. The average tire diameter these days is 26"; the box dimension is 25x25". Sure, I could deflate the tires some and squeeze, but you aren't supposed to. Anyways, I called the Zone Leader (Elder Clay), and he said that the mission didn't have any 21" bike boxes right now, but he will let me know. He did say there was 19" ones (which, is the frame size I wish I had), but wait till longer in the transfer when more bicycles are likely to come in. I will probably try Wal-Mart again in another week, and ask for a 26" frame bike box (which sounds huge to me). You have to pick up at 7 AM because they crush the boxes at that time.

One funny dinner appointment story was that our convert & his family had to cancel dinner with us on Thursday. No biggie, so we call our Friday dinner appointment to confirm. To get an idea of what to fix us, she asked us what we had had the night before and I told her what it was. She then asked what we were having that night and I responded we were on our own, but doing fine. The next night at dinner, she asked us. I responded, "Oh, I had a tuna sandwich, but it's okay I was in the mood for tuna. And, I can't remember what Elder Green had." Elder Green responded, "Oh, ramen noodles." We didn't even think about it, but we had a typical missionary meal. But, we were both in the mood for it.

We also got the opportunity to have dinner with the another member family this week. We hadn't really talked with them much before. So, it was a surprise we talked a lot that evening and had a great time. They had even lived in Springfield, MO and knew a lot of people I know. Also, they both had gone to BYU. So, we had quite a great conversation, and some of the best chicken that I have had in a long time.

Speaking of dinner appointments Mother's Day greatly helped. Since all of the men were filling in for the mother's church callings, we got a lot of appointments with families that I have never eaten with before since they were in Relief Society to sign up. So we only have one open day this month right now! We will probably have a cancellation or two though. But, it is good news.

We did some interesting service this past week. We helped out with the Senior Olympics. My thought is, "Oh a great fun activity for seniors, that doesn't really matter that much. It's more about participating." But, such was not the case. The seniors were pretty aggressive and constantly told us how to do our job. Though, I should have expected that one. Luckily though, Elder Green and I were helping with women's basketball. Elder Wolfgramm & Krantz had to deal with the men. I also learned how to run the electronic score board. So, that is another skill. Basketball was happening at the gym at Oklahoma Wesleyan University. There was also a guy that everyone swore looked like he was in his early thirties playing. He said he was fifty. After the event was over, one of the administrators said he had shown ID another day. She said she couldn't see why anyone would want to get a fake ID just to play in the Senior Olympics. I reminded her it probably was more than that, probably for senior discounts everywhere you go (I hope you are enjoying them dad). Though, the guy could have been fifty. We later helped out with track events at the Bartlesville High School track. I helped time some races and helped with the high jump (which the record, I think was 4'10"). Someone threw a discus around 125 feet, and the shot put at like 42 feet. So, there were some pretty amazing seniors.

The priesthood broadcast on Sunday night was nice. It was saddening that we had to be reminded that alcoholic beverages included beer. I wouldn't have imagined that to be a problem in the church, but I guess it is. It was nice to see that President Hinckley is doing well.

There were some interesting highlights of Zone conference this week. First off we were informed that the regional mission reports are out, and our mission was 2nd out of 16 on convert retention. We were also informed of another mission tour in June. We do not know exactly who will be coming, but President suspected it would be Elder Stephen B. Oveson, of the Seventy. If I remember correctly, his son lives in our ward, right? Though, that means I will get to share my concluding mission testimony with a general authority in attendance.

Also of note was President was talking about hidden holes in apartment walls. Missionaries punching a hole in the wall and then covering it with a picture. He told us, "If you put a fist through a wall, I'm going to be tempted to put a fist through a chin." Sister Nielsen counseled us to "Be the missionary your mother thinks you are." So, what do you think?

Really interesting was the new car guy. The car competition has been canceled forever. President felt emotions were too high and people were taking off the day before conference to clean the cars. That was no biggie. We got new gas credit cards for the cars, so we shouldn't be using bent ones for awhile. They also changed policy and have a sealed envelope with vehicle insurance & registration, which you have to send in the broken envelope with an explanation if you ever have to open it. So, we shouldn't have missing insurance, etc in the vehicles. Though, I think mainly president wants to know about all the accidents/tickets/etc. What was really interesting was the car guy saying, "Tire inflation should be 35 PSI, give or take one or two pounds." This was shocking to everyone there since the last car guy harped on tire pressure.

I saw Elder Ricks at Zone conference and we talked, that was a nice surprise. He is now in the Brook Hollow ward I believe.

That is pretty much it for the week. I really appreciated hearing from all of you. Take care and enjoy yourselves. Best wishes to Grandma on getting better. I miss you all, and am really looking forward to seeing you again.

Elder Mike Robinson