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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

It has been quite the mail week. I received two weeks worth of mail, since the mission office forwarded it to our current address. It was quite exciting, and I loved getting that much information from home. I even had a day when I got five letters. Though, please don't hold off on sending me things so that I can get more mail at once. I love mail, but I don't want more mail that way. We will probably be moving into the next house within the next week (or two), but of course there are no guarantees. I still think sending regular mail to the mission office is your best bet though. Either way, thanks for all the mail!

As I mentioned last week, I received your package. Dad's new CD is great as ever. I am glad you got the printer figured out too. I guess there is another CD on its way to me. That will be nice! It was great to hear Boellman again! Anyways, I would also like to thank you for the tie. It is wonderful to get another one, I am getting pretty tired of the ones that I have. So, a new addition is very welcome. If you get me any more ties, make sure they are pretty long. I like the longer ties. Also, thank you for sending me the new pair of pants. Though, it is interesting my older pair just tore (it probably can be fixed, but I haven't gotten around to it) and I slid on my newer pants and they seemed to fit much better than I remembered. I can even fit my hand in between my pants & waist. I don't think I am losing any weight, so I can't explain that one.

Speaking of weight gain, we had a great Thanksgiving. We went over to the Parry's & Gresham’s. It was a huge family gathering, there was probably almost 30 people there. I told Brother Parry that I don't think I remember a family gathering over 10 people. There was even a family that lived in Springfield 3rd Ward there that I had seen a few times. He replied that when he and his brothers get together with his parents it is over ten people.

It was also interesting he had his one year old running around as well. He told us that you never know, but we could have one of those in three years. It was a scary thought, but not too likely. Also interesting was that a lot of people did a weight challenge. Many people stood on the scale and had a goal of how much weight they would gain from eating the meal; one person even had a goal of seven pounds. I did not participate, but Elder Koontz became known as the weird one. He ate and returned to weigh himself, and came out weighing less than before. After much thought, we figured out that he had taken off his suit jacket. Interesting is the fact that the scale stopped working; so many people did not know if they had reached their goals. What was really nice was the fact that most everyone there already had full refrigerators and consequently we got a ton of leftovers. We should be set for a little while.

Really interesting was last Sunday (I forgot about it in last weeks letter). I had just sung out in Sacrament meeting as I usually do, and the bishop (who had been sitting on the stand) came up to me and told me that I had to sing in the ward choir. I also received quite a few compliments from others. Sister Roberts, the Choir Director, even asked if I would be willing to sing a solo in the Christmas program. To which, I replied sure... I am just not fond of singing bass part solos. She asked if I would be willing to try Oh Come All Ye Faithful in Latin, and said she would help me with pronunciation. She also commented since I know Spanish as well, it should be somewhat easier. I will let you know if and how this goes when the season comes around.

Also interesting was at choir practice we were all sitting down and Sister Roberts is looking around for the pianist. Eventually she asked and found out that she was in a meeting. She looked around some more, and since I had stayed with her for awhile she asked, "You play some, right?" So, I got to accompany choir practice, which was kind of fun. Afterwards, one of the Elders Quorum presidency came up to me and asked if I would be willing to play in Priesthood meeting, since they have just been playing the cassette tapes. Apparently only sisters can play the piano in this ward. I am still playing for District meetings as well.

When I was staying with the Roberts (when we first got here), I noticed that their piano was a Chickering, just like ours. I told them that and found out that it too was an heirloom. We also talked about how grand pianos are nicer to play than uprights, and I rubbed in the fact that mine is an heirloom and also a grand! Sister Roberts wanted a grand, but the sentimental value of the one she has keeps her with it. It was just good to see another Chickering, I don't see too many of them.

Elder Koontz and I met a few interesting people this week as we were tracting. We met three people who claimed to be Ex-LDS. One even claimed to have been married in the temple and been a member five years. When we asked why they stopped, they replied, "If you knew what went on in the temple you would quit as well." However, we seriously question how many of these people had actually been members, or if they were just saying that to get us away from their door. We also met another lady who told us, "I just believe in the Bible", which really got me thinking. It is really important to believe in yourself, your family, etc. What an empty existence it is without belief.

Hopefully Grandma is doing better. My thoughts and prayers are with her. I also hope that she still had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. Let me know if there is anything I can do!

Dad's sharing bits and pieces of Jono's talk was most interesting. He had quite a nice little talk prepared. I have been thinking about mine some, and hope it will go well. My talk will probably be on Prayer (mainly) with some Faith mixed in. However, also interesting is with Jono home I believe that makes me the longest serving missionary from our ward, right? Yeah!

Concerning E-mail vs. Letter, I agree with you. I prefer the letters, but we have very little time on P-day to accomplish these things. We are even working on our house quite a bit on P-day. Also, I have not unpacked my writing pad yet. So, it will be awhile before you start receiving letters. However, please keep the regular mail coming to me, I prefer it. Plus, it costs 10 cents per page to print at the Miami public library! I am a cheap skate!

Miami is quite the interesting place. It is much larger a city than I had expected. We have quite a few larger cities in our area (large for this part of the country); we even include part of Kansas (Baxter Springs). When we have tracted Miami, it is obvious that people have seen us many times and are not excited to see us. I think our other cities might be more successful. We only have a few small leads in the area, but you never know things might progress. We don't feel like we have made that much of an impact yet. But, that does take time. We have North Eastern Oklahoma A&M College here in Miami as well.

It is hard to believe that it is already December; I have enjoyed my advent calendar. It is great to see that tradition carry on, even when I didn't expect it would. Thank you so much. Also, thank you for starting to compile the To-Do list for when I get home. I don't have any ideas yet, but I will be thinking. Though, charging up the laptop battery should be on there.

One last interesting thing was that we had tons of people at church because everyone was visiting relatives. We looked at the nearby Presbyterian Church and their attendance was lower than their normal. I guess it all just depends.

Anyways, I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving! You are the greatest, thanks for your support! I miss you so much and am looking forward to talking to you in about 23 days! Anyways, I wish you all the best. Take care!

Elder Mike Robinson

P.S. You are probably going to want me to call in the morning again, right? Let me know if otherwise. Thanks for taking care of all the details with everything; I couldn't do it without you.