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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

Well, this week has been pretty interesting. We have had a mixture of some good and some bad things. I am thankful to have received some mail from all of you. I got two letters from dad (probably making up for the absence of a letter last week.) Also, I want to acknowledge that I received an Easter card from grandma, so thank you!

I guess today is a good day to remember the sinking of the Titanic. And tomorrow is a good day to remember your income taxes. Both events are rather somber occasions to remember. But, have a Happy Easter!

First off, I got two more ticks on me this week. I believe one actually punctured my skin this time, but I got it out before it began to swell up. However, if you have some time to do some internet research, look up ways to pull off ticks (I know there are other ways then the burn method that I know). Also, find some of the symptoms for tick related diseases. One Elder out here claims that he developed minor Knee problems from tick bites. The mission office told him to put ointment on it. Plus, how to get rid of "Chiggers".

Another exciting event of the week is that we accompanied one of your youth investigators to Mutual for a while. They were having a talent show, so we got to see a few amusing things.

Also, we were helping a member install their new above ground pool this week. He was amazed that we showed up, since so many of his friends and family did not. It has been quite a little challenge to install this pool. We were constantly looking at the directions and comparing the diagram. Though, we all know that no installation would be fun if the diagram and instructions matched. Also interesting was that we needed a back hoe to dig a hole for this above ground pool. Apparently, the house was built on a hill. Someone had come in and "leveled" the land for the pool. It looked pretty level to the eye. However, when we pulled out some surveying equipment, we found that the pool land sloped about one foot over 34 feet length. It was pretty hard to believe that it was that far off. However, we fixed it. We shall see how many more weeks this pool that you are supposed to be able to build in three days will take. Either way, it is fun since it is something out of the normal for us to do. Though, I do suspect that if in my adult life I want a pool, I probably will pay those darn installation costs.

The other exciting news is that the Bishop has given us the okay for the baptism of two of our investigators. So, they still have to be interviewed by our district leader and then we can get everything rolling. So, things are progressing.

Now, to respond to questions. Yes, I've got my new pair of designer Wal-Mart glasses. You are right, I didn't get the el-cheapo model for under $100. The frames that looked the most like the Lenscrafters pair cost $90. My lenses cost $110, that was their second best lens and the only type of lens that was not a "Wal-Mart" lens. So, with tax, my glasses came to $215. I believe that is a little bit more expensive than my old ones were. I will mail my glasses home after the transfers this week.

Mom also let me know that paintball is not an approved scouting activity. Though I agree, it seems strange. It was a popular thing for many of the counselors at Camp Chawanakee to play, when there were no campers. Also, I will try to write Jared a note after transfers. Say "Hi" to Pam Joy for me the next time you see her. Try and schedule a Disneyland trip on July 27, 2004 for me J... no, I don't think I will be going that soon after I return.

In addition, mom commented that I would have to get used to staying up late to watch all the new DVDs. I don't see a problem with getting back into staying up late. Well, maybe the first night or two. But I will probably be getting up at 6:30 a.m. There are a few things that I plan to do differently in my routine once I get home. Oh well, that is enough about that.

The great question from mom was did I watch conference in my PJ's. I think we all know the answer to that question. Did I miss home? Nope, I missed college where I watched conference in my PJ's and still in bed. I didn't even have to set an alarm for conference, I knew someone in the dorm would be blaring it in the hall. Plus, it was nice to feel savvy, watching it on the internet.

Now, to dad's coral calcium. I am glad that grandma bought you some to try. The guy in Poteau who told me about it said he really didn't notice a significant difference for about 3 months. I, like you, am pretty skeptical of the "wonder" drug type things. Good luck on the Easter Program, I wish I could be there for that. I sounds like it will be good.

Sorry to hear about the garage springs. It is hard to believe that happened, I think I remember replacing one with you. I remember they are a real pain to get on, so I am sorry that I am not there to help. I am very glad that Super is okay. Those protective wires were a great idea (or as they say out here, "idear"). Thank you dad for the extended family histories, they are insightful and I am learning a lot about our family. So, thanks!

Now, mom was curious about the "new" teaching style. The extra time to prepare has been nice, I have been enjoying it. President stressed that for this new method, personal testimony was essential. We can no longer rely on the testimonies of our parents. He said if we did, we might "end up teaching the philosophies of mom, mingled with scripture." I don't think I have too much problem with that. My experiences in my life has left me to seek my own testimony. You asked if I finished my outline. Nope, and I don't think that will be coming anytime soon. I am just finding tons of scriptures for my outline notes. I guess I am done outlining just that my notes aren't near completion. I am thankful for the smaller discussion copies you sent me. So far, we have used our memory of the discussions and taken a lot of liberty in discussing them. It seems to have worked pretty well. So, I will let you know when things get more exciting.

Other things that I would like to request: mom sent me an average temperature chart for Mountain Home. Could you send me one for Bartlesville, so I can compare my summers. Also would you find out the population for Poteau and Mission Viejo. I have no idea what they are and a lot of people ask me those things. Oh well, that is about it for general requests.

I know the Church is true and the work that I am doing is very important. Thank you for raising me and all the support over the years. Take care and God bless. I miss you!

Elder Mike Robinson

P.S. I have seen a Rolls Royce in Flippin, AR! Flippin is definitely not Newport Beach... Imagine how far that guy has to go looking for a dealership!