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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

Well we have had a pretty good week here. I received mail this week, so the address you have was successful. I do not believe that I have yet received dad's letter of June 7th, but it will probably come soon. Quite a few interesting things to talk about.

First off, when I first arrived in Mena, Elder Nelson mentioned the ant problem they were having. Tons of ants, everywhere. Yours truly would not accept that, so I went on a cleaning spree in the kitchen. We bought some ant spray and counter top bait. Consequently I believe I might have seen 3 ants in the week that I have been here. Not bad, and it wasn't that hard to get rid of them. Of course, you always wonder if the apartment below you is getting over-run with ants.

I heard from John Green (the former Elder) this past week. He is up in Oregon. He can hardly wait to come back down to California. He also said that he can't really get a job since he will be coming down to California again. Either way, it was nice hearing from him.

We had Zone Conference this past week. Elder Stephen B. Oveson of The Seventy was there. When I told him where I was from and which Ward I was in, he told me that his family had lived in San Juan Capistrano for a long time. He also mentioned the Laguna Niguel Stake splitting, and the creation of a San Clemente Stake. That was pretty interesting. Apparently he was born in Oregon, and lived in Arizona & California. He was in the hotel business until retirement in 1984. That was hard to believe, he retired that long ago. He spoke of the good old days when all he had to do was golf and was later called to be bishop, not too bad he said, mentioning he still had plenty of golf time.

He talked to us about the usual things you always hear about. Interesting was he kept telling us the Spanish word for what he was talking about (since he had been a mission president in Argentina, I believe) and mentioning how it just sounded nicer than the English. Later on, he mentioned that he hated missionaries with backpacks. When he asked, "Do you know why I hate backpacks?" The response quickly came, "Does it sound cooler in Spanish?" We all got a chuckle out of it. He dislikes them since missionaries always carry everything but the kitchen sink in them and look like high school students. So, he encouraged us to drop the backpack whenever possible. One of the sisters made vocal her opinion, "well, you need this, this, this, and this" to which the General Authority made her open up hers and show and explain why things were necessary. Needless to say, we all could probably at least lighten our backpack.

Well, at Zone Conference I had another interesting thing happen. Though I never thought it would happen I finally met Sister Fifer, who Marjorie knew. Apparently Marjorie was her best friends room-mate. She had no idea who I was, but was glad that we could make the connection. I got a picture with her, so Marjorie can see her and prove that I saw her. She seemed pretty nice, but we were all in a bit of a hurry. However, she did tell me "well see ya later" (or something similar), and I responded, "probably not I am going home this transfer." I got the "Oh, well....ummm....Good luck adjusting to normal life, I think". It seemed like a pretty fitting comment.

Also of interest was that I saw Elders Bonham and Shaffer. They were the two missionaries that tracted into my convert family (Bartlesville 2nd). I got a picture with both of them, so that I could send it to the family some time. Both of them seem to be doing well. Though of course, the picture would only have been complete with John Green there, which was not possible.

In Zone Conference, the departing missionaries are always called upon to give their testimony. The missionary before me (Elder PeƱafiel) mentioned how he could not believe the day had come. I mentioned how Zone Conference had been pushed forward a week and testimonies moved from the end to the beginning of the meeting, all for Elder Oveson. So, the day really hadn't come, we still should have had about a week. I got quite a few chuckles on that one. I mentioned a few other things, a little about my conversion, a little about my feelings, and a little about prayer. So, really I just said a few little things.

So far, the Lord has been blessing us in the area. We have met quite a few good prospects. First off, the two girls (ages 8 & 10) that I mentioned last week. The grandparents coming up to us at Church and saying "Teach our granddaughters". Then we also visited with a part member family this week who moved from Northern California six weeks ago. The husband (not a member) just openly came out and said, "I want to be baptized". He also mentioned very positive feelings toward the Church. So, his wife who has been a member about a year now, requested that she could retake the discussions, to which the husband seemed like he wanted to be there. They are a great family, and the little time we have been over there was great. Interesting thing is that they work on a horse ranch, maintaining and feeding the horses.

I am glad to hear that the car-bra came in for my Camry. The picture looked pretty good, but it is hard to believe you ordered it back in April and they refused to install it. Sometimes, things just don't go as planned. Though, I am grateful you did it and you have no idea how I miss having my own car. Also, thank you mom for registering me for the First Aid & CPR courses. It is always good to be certified in those.

It is hard to believe that both of mom's eyes have improved. That just seems so against "Progressive Near-Sightedness". I hope that someday mine improve a little.

Mom also mentioned that I would be in Provo for Alex Hart's wedding. I barely know Alex, so I almost doubt that I will be invited unless it is to walk around the temple grounds with Marjorie or to keep Marjorie company at the reception. Though of course, I am happy for Alex. How long has he been home for? It seems like it has been about a year.

Dad mentioning the light problem with the Rodgers organ really surprised me. The Bartlesville building should have the same problem some day. Though I must say the lights do make it look kind of nice. Though, functional and nice are very different. Luckily, we have someone that plays pretty well here in Mena so the organ sounds nice. That is surprising for such a small branch. Oh, by the way we had Boy Scout troop from Texas that is attending a local scout camp come to church this week. It really boosted attendance. I believe two of the adults were James E. West fellows.

That is pretty much it for my end this week. I was glad to receive your letters. They really mean a lot to me and keep me happier. Anyways, I hope that dad had a good Father's Day. I was thinking of him. Let me know how it went. Good luck to all of you, and you probably will be getting my flight plan within the next few weeks, so keep your eyes open. I miss you all so much.

Elder Mike Robinson