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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

Another week has come and gone. We had some good member referrals as well. Also, we got to fish at a member's pond while talking with their friends. The fishing was excellent, I caught like five fish in fifteen minutes (and those are just the ones I reeled in). I really wish I had a pond like that in my backyard. It makes fishing really fun to have a bite about every minute.

We had 64 proselyting hours this past week. Which, was the highest in our District. So, I guess Elder Johnson and I did well.

One interesting highlight of the week is that I was called as Branch pianist. The Branch President wants the Branch more excited about singing and decided to change a few things and see how it goes. I feel a little uncomfortable with this calling, because I am replacing our Branch mission leader who is a piano tuner. He is good at playing. I just hoping that I do pretty well, so pray for me. Also, I got asked to play at Zone conference. Perhaps this is the Lord's way of telling me it is time to improve. So, now I will squeeze a little practice time into our schedule (not too much).

Stake Conference (5/31 - 6/1) went really well. We were not in the choir this time because they had a practice before the conference. I would have enjoyed it, but someone would commented that we should be out doing missionary work and not practicing with a choir that can hold it's own. The Stake organist was pretty good (she was also the choir director). The only old friend I saw was Elder Sorenson who is doing well.

Hopefully you enjoyed your wedding anniversary. Also, your description of "Finding Nemo" sounded pretty good, so hopefully it was great. Did you do anything else exciting?

As senior companion, my basic responsibilities are planning our schedule, making sure we are both following the rules, keep ourselves working effectively, and talking a little more.

Elder Johnson is from Dallas, OR. He was a Star Scout. He has served in Ranch Creek South (Tulsa), Talihena, OK (just SW of Poteau), and now Salem.

"Elder" Sorenson's (now Jeff) reason for returning to the mission so quickly was primarily because one of his converts got married. However, he extended his trip out here and is staying with a family that he got really attached to. They do have a young lady in the family, but Elder Sorenson said he thinks more of her as a sister. It was great seeing him.

Let's see, a trip to Hawaii or Oklahoma? Do you know the choice would be extremely obvious before my mission. How about I wait to tell you where I would like to go. Right now, Hawaii sounds nice. I would like to return to the mission some day, but not a few weeks after I left. Plus, I think the weather will be nicer in Hawaii. However, if you would like to come out to Oklahoma, then I would open to it.

In case you want more info on mission bikes for Jeff or other missionaries, I will tell you a little more. I like my Liahona, but the disc brakes that come with it are not that good (I am constantly thinking of going back to standard brakes). Liahona has the fewest name parts and I think weighs more than the other companies, plus the fenders weren't that great. Wasatch is the one that doesn't include a kickstand or chain guard, however a lot of missionaries like them because they are lighter and have more brand name parts. The new Treks have a chain guard and kickstand, but the older ones do not. Plus I think the tread on the Trek tires is not very good for most terrains. There are a few Elders out here that live off Ramen and dinner appointments so they can spend most of their money improving their bike. My Liahona is doing me pretty well though.

I received Grandma's card. Thank you very much! It was great to hear from you and I do miss you and wish you the best.

Now, to answer the question you have been waiting for. What was the one thing that I have learned on my mission? It is extremely hard to pick out just one thing. There is so much that I have learned and most of which is hard to put into words. However, I guess if I had to pick something it would be that often our own perception of ourselves is a great inhibitor to our progress. I know that I have done some things that I wouldn't have done before, simply because I didn't think I could. The greatest growth comes outside of our comfort zone and is greatest when it is motivated by our love for others. I am curious what mom thought the one thing that I learned was.

Anyways, I must be going. I wish you all the best. Thanks for all of your love and support!

Elder Mike Robinson

Happy Father's Day!