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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

I would first off like to inform you that I received the package with my Camelback and other items. Thank you so much for sending it. I have already begun to enjoy carrying around the lighter weight. In addition, I have received my new glasses from Wal-Mart. So, I just am awaiting the answer to my question about insurance and I will get them in the mail (the old glasses that is). My new ones look pretty much like my old ones, except that there seems to be more glare and they get dirtier much easier (even from the case). So, everything seems to be in order. Thank you for all of your support in these things.

Last item of housekeeping, I do not believe that I received a letter from Dad this past week. So, I was disappointed and you might consider sending a copy of this week's letter with the next correspondence. Though, mom's letter did arrive, so I assume that Dad is still alive and well. J

One more thing I should mention is that we receive our mail through a slot in our door. Often, the mailman does not push the letters entirely through, so I get a little bend in some of my mail. So, be sure to write "Do not bend" if you are enclosing items of importance. Thank you for all of you mail, even if it is not worthy of "Do not bend" designation. J

Let's see, mom asked if we got the car washed (or "warshed" as they say out here) after changing the tire. The answer is yes. Though, the wash that we did was not worthy of Zone Conference inspection. Still, it was better than it was and is not too bad a job for the amount of time we had. You also asked if there was anything else that I was missing from home. Please overnight my 6 pillows. No, even I think that would be a bit extreme, plus I don't know how I could fit 6 pillows in my luggage. Really, I can't think of anything. Though the food you have been sending has been great and has allowed me to have some more meal choices.

Mom's articles from about the language errors are great. Though, I will let you know that the ZL in the story was obviously not up on his OK geography. Miami, OK is pronounced "my-am-ah" to distinguish it from the one in Florida. Though that is something I did not know until I was out for about 3 months. It is just a trivial piece of knowledge. We also have a few missionaries out here that have had some small adventures of their own.

I guess there were only a few highlights this week. I got to see the Lake Norfork dam and take some pictures. It was pretty and looked like old depression era work. The other highlights were interviews with President Peterson in Branson, MO and General Conference.

It was quite nice to watch General Conference. I think my favorite part was the choir and organ. Probably because it reminds me of home. Though of course, the people watching with us at the church usually used the songs as great opportunities to talk to their neighbors. So, perhaps I am becoming more like dad. I was also excited to hear the choir sing "This is the Christ" near the end of the broadcast. I love that song and remember it fondly from when we sang it in choir. I will have to get that on CD some day.

My favorite session was probably Sunday afternoon. Probably because it had my favorite Apostles, but maybe because of other things too. President Hinckley's talk on the war had little meaning to Elder Stipe and I, being as we don't know what is going on. Plus, most of what he said was well established church doctrine that anyone seeking comfort could have easily researched. Though, I guess that is what the people needed to hear. Still, I think the music was my favorite part. I just couldn't get enough. I was disappointed that someone raced up and turned off the TV after every session before most of the postlude was over.

Though speaking of music, I have become a little better at playing the piano. I can play way more hymns than before I left. Though, I think the more amazing thing is that I have made this progress on my own. I am not great at playing all the hymns, but there has been some definite progress. I attribute it to having a little free time at churches and only the hymn book to play from. Hopefully, I will further develop this talent after I return home. Though, there are quite a few things on my after I get home to do list.

My interview with President Peterson was pretty interesting. First off, it was in Branson, MO, though we didn't get to stop and see the sights. I do hear that quite a few of the performers are Mormon and that missionaries and their investigators get into quite a few shows for free. Anyways, my interview went pretty well and I am staying in the mission field, but it was a close one (just joking). So, I guess I am doing pretty well. President Peterson said that Elder Stipe will be transferred this coming week. I guess that the probability of me being transferred is really low. Which is pretty good since the Ward is real nice and friendly. I think it will be a good area.

Also interesting was a comment from Elder Penafiel (he came out to Tulsa at the same time that I did). He said while trying to comfort one of the other District members, "It could be worse, you could be in Poteau or Pawhuska." I looked him in the eye and asked him why he was talking about both of my past areas. He seemed shocked that anyone had gotten both of those areas. Though, I did elaborate that we were covering Pawhuska, not serving exclusively there. But, we did get a little laugh about the whole thing.That is about it on my end. Hopefully, I have answered all of your questions. So, take care and enjoy Mission Viejo. I hope to hear from you soon. Also, hopefully dad enjoyed his birthday to the fullest and there were no cruel April Fools jokes pulled. I miss you.

Elder Mike Robinson

P.S. We had some hard rain this week. It did not last too long, but we got drenched. Though, we both still seem to be healthy. Plus, the youth had Prom this weekend, so there were a few fancy dresses and tuxes worn to conference.