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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Parents,

Thank you so much for the package, I received it on Saturday and have been listening to the tapes ever since. Also, the Thanksgiving card with the "long" table was nice to receive. Let me stop right now and wish you a great Thanksgiving, though you will probably receive this after turkey day. Be sure to let me know how the holiday was for you. Also, I send my condolences to dad, I hope the organ is up and running soon. Thank you mom for the Ohio State Band postcard. Did you end up on the campus?

I am glad to hear that mom saw so many familiar faces at the Eagle Court of Honor. That must have been nice. I truly miss events such as that. The scouting program just isn't quite the same out here.

Now, on to news about the work. Sunday was quite amazing. Church was very full, between less actives, inactives, and our investigators. Our gospel principles class was very full. Elder Karlinsey and I had to stand and we did not have enough books. The Atkinson's came and you can tell Brother Hoppie that it looks like they might start coming back more.

We had the Mason family commit to baptism (there are 4 of them). It is pretty cool, the father grew up in the Church...but was not allowed to be baptized until he was 18 (because they wanted it to be his decision). But by that time he had fallen away from the Church. He doesn't remember too much about the Church, but his parents and grandparents were sealed in the temple. He and his wife have word of wisdom problems...but they have cut back their teas and cigarettes even though we haven't taught them about that yet. I think they know from their families and are getting ready for it. Also, the way they found out about the Church was their son and daughter were swimming over the summer in a neighbors pool, who is a member family. So, they have already developed a member friendship. We are excited for them.

We are also teaching our complex manager's family. We thought they were just showing us the usual pleasantries, but they listened to a first discussion and liked it. Later, the husband commented he was feeling better about his life. We are going to see them again tomorrow. Also of note is the owner of the apartments is LDS, though he lives in Texas.

We are also teaching the son & daughter of an inactive. Sister Williams was going to the Baptist Church (because it was close to her home), but when her children wanted to be baptized... she just couldn't accept it, so she has come back to our Church. The only obstacle now is the father disapproves of organized religion and we need his consent before we continue to teach the children. Right now, he is "thinking about it."

There is this lady who was a media referral for the "Together Forever" video. When we got there she just had a wisdom tooth pulled that morning. She said that she had been in great pain and was thinking about calling us to cancel the appointment, but something inside her told her not to. For one whole hour she told us about herself, her beliefs, feelings, etc. We sat there and politely listened and then started into the first discussion. It was amazing, her kids were making a racket in the room next door, but it did not detract from the powerful spirit. It was truly amazing, considering the spirit normally leaves under those circumstances. When we were done, she was almost in tears, her swelling had gone down, and she said she didn't feel the pain and she was smiling. Her last comment to us was "I felt better talking to you for 2 hours than I have in 15 years of religion." So, it was a rather positive experience. However, by the time of our return appointment she had come down with the flu. Since then we have called and called, so she may have dropped us already.

Some other things that may interest you. It is getting colder here. Probably not too long before snow comes. Since it is colder and lawns are not growing rapidly, we are volunteering at the Salvation Army thrift store for our service. It is kind of a nice change. Though, if you had told me people dig through the Salvation Army dumpster, I probably would not have believed you. Who wants Salvation Army rejects? Apparently, there are some people.

Also, I got to the top of Cavanal (the l is silent, it sounds like the choclate company that cousin Christina worked for [cavanaugh]), the worlds tallest hill...however, we did not hike it, we drove. Though there were plenty of switchbacks. Sadly, it was foggy today.. so I couldn't get a good picture.

One last story now. This one is about the Atkinsons. Before I had ever gotten here, they had fallen away from the Church and had become "anti". They had thrown away all their Mormon literature, but they couldn't bring themselves to throw away their Book of Mormon. However, they were anti enough that the Branch told the missionaries not to go over there, as well as most of the Branch. Only the Branch President was to be working with them. After awhile of the situation being this way, one of the members, Sister Buchanan, decided to go over and attempt visiting teaching. She stayed for 3 hours. Apparently, the Atkinsons had been praying and said that the next person who came from a church would be the church they would go to. 3 days later, Sister Buchanan showed up to do visiting teaching. Sister Buchanan said she had had a gut feeling to do it for about 3 days as well. So, as you can see the work is amazing here!

To wrap this letter up, there are just a few small things. First off, I better get a copy of our family Christmas letter this make sure sure that I am on the mailing list. Also, let me thank you for sending my Advent calendar (or what I think is my Advent calendar) to me, that was a creative way to do it. In case you want to send me any more music, our mission rule is whatever is appropriate for Sacrament Meeting. Though thanks so much for the tapes you sent me. Hopefully not too long from now, I will have one of dad playing the organ.

I wish you all the best, thanks for the package, and send grandma my love.

Elder Michael Robinson