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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

It has been quite the eventful week. Our first time tracting (on E NW in Miami) we even ran into a Spanish contact. He has talked with the missionaries is Mexico, so we got a hold of a Spanish Book of Mormon and will be delivering it to him this coming week. Quite a few people were home for that early in the morning, it kind of surprised me. Though, we still had a quick door to door speed (if you know what I mean).

Also interesting is the weather. It has been pretty warm and also pretty cold. On Tuesday, we were driving up towards Commerce, OK and it started to hail. Quite a few people pulled over to the road side and Elder Koontz asked me why they were doing it. My best guess was the fact that if they weren't moving, the hail would probably do less damage to the car. We eventually pulled over as well and found that the ground had iced up instantly and we were driving on ice. We turned back around and went about a half a mile down the street to the Wal-Mart parking lot (if you get stuck somewhere, where else would you want to be?). There we just sat and waited out the storm. However, it never hailed at Wal-Mart or anywhere more southern. It was kind of interesting how we found the line between bad and worse weather. Snow is expected sometime soon I believe, but it keeps getting hot and then cools off again.

In this area, my GPS unit has been invaluable. Since neither Elder Koontz or I know anything about the area. It really helps us see what members live close to where we are and also helps us get a little bit less lost. Though of course, we still do every now & then since I don't always bring it. It even helped us find the home of the first family we lived with. The mission office gave us a map of Miami and where the family lived. Of course, the two maps didn't connect, so we got a little lost trying to get from map 1 to map 2. I finally broke down & unpacked my GPS from my suit case. So thank you for that!

Also interesting is the family who we are currently living with (1st counselor in the bishopric), used to be big in to rodeos. So Elder Koontz and I have received a few lessons on how to lasso. It is kind of fun, but as you could imagine very difficult. Though, it is great to know the basics. Who knows, maybe with a lot of practice I could amaze some of the scouts at scout camp. Though, that is not too likely right now.

On Friday, we had Zone Conference in Springfield. So I got to return to my old stomping ground. Though, we didn't stop and see anyone or anything like that. It was also car competition and Elder Koontz took that very seriously. We spent a long, long time cleaning it. Since I knew Springfield, we even stopped by at a close gas station to the church to check our tire pressure. All in all, I thought we had an awesome chance of winning, except for the fact our tires didn't look too black since we didn't have any of that tire stuff. We pulled up and saw an absolutely spotless car and we both got a little nervous. The car inspections took longer than usual this time. The quote from our car coordinator was "Seven out of the eight cars in this Zone would have won in any other Zone. I suggest you all take the car you came with and go home happy." Well of course, no one was satisfied with that so the highest mileage car was picked (also Sister Missionaries) as the winner. Though, all is well the cars were all very impressive.

At Zone Conference I saw Elder Ricks & Elder Weeks. Both of which are still doing well. Last month the mission only 18 baptisms. Usually, we get about 35-40. So of course, we get the "you are not proselyting hard and effectively enough". President Nielsen told us of an interesting story. He went to a Mission President’s conference with 3 general authorities. The mission presidents who had been out over 2 years were invited to give some comments and suggestions. One of them said, well if a missionary does this, this, and this, he can become a "master teacher". One of the general authorities, Elder Deedie (spelling is way off, I know) asked how many of the missions had similar certification programs. Of the 17 mission presidents, 16 had their hands up. President Nielsen felt proud as they were telling the others to get rid of the programs.

Our house is progressing nicely, though we still have a long way to go. We have sheet rocked most of the bath room, as well as insulate it. It might be a little while longer till we get to move in. Though, it is very pretty and a lot of quality material is going into remodeling it. The owner is doing better. He might be released from the hospital in the next couple of days. Though, we will probably just be working under his direction when he gets out since he is still pretty week. We are allowed to do more than our normal service hours to help us get in there.

With Thanksgiving approaching, we are having to move again tonight. The family we are living with has family coming in from out of town, and so it would have been very awkward for us to be living there. We were the topic of quite a bit of discussion in PEC (we are told, we weren't there). With Thanksgiving, the whole Ward either had family coming into town or they had single teenage daughters. We were visiting an inactive member who told us he had a house he is planning to sell, but that we could live there free of charge till ours is more finalized. Free utilities as well. Only three drawbacks, we will have to move yet again, there is only a bath tub no shower, and we may not have a phone. We will be moving there tonight. I received mom's package today, but have not opened it yet since it is easier to move a packed box.

I have a lot less time than I was expecting. It is very challenging for me at this part of my mission. I just want to unpack and enjoy the missionary work. I want life to go back to normal. But, I have quite a few lessons to learn. I recognize quite a few of them. I will probably be spending quite a bit of money in the next few weeks since I am opening the area and will need quite a few things you take for granted in some areas.

Anyways, I wish you all the best as well. Take care and enjoy your Thanksgiving. I will be thinking of you. Tell Grandma Millie & Aunt Kathy & Uncle Mark I say "Hi." I miss you all.

Elder Mike Robinson