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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

Hopefully, you are all doing well. It has been an eventful week. I have not yet received a letter from mom for the past week due to transfers. However, I hope to receive it soon. Either way, between dad's letter and transfers there is plenty to write about.

First off, let me say that I greatly enjoyed dad's letter. It is so wonderful to see that dad had similar experiences to my own. Though, I of course only have the "standard" Orange Julius recipe out here with me (though, I have never made it).

About the Ensign article about contact with missionaries, I agree with dad. As long as you avoid the big "No, No's", I think you are all right. If you only write to me about "uplifting missionary things," your letters would become greatly less interesting. I do not expect you to have weekly uplifting experiences. As you can tell, I don't always have uplifting stories to tell, and I am doing this full time. Though, this week there are some. Plus, I doubt that I would want to stay out here if I didn't know about what was going on at home. But do continue to try to find some missionary experiences.

First off, Nixa seems pretty nice, but I miss Salem quite a bit. Luckily, we have a very nice apartment here to make up for it. Though, we don't spend much time in it. It is truly the nicest apartment I have been in during my mission. It is spacious, well air conditioned, has a washer and dryer (first apartment I have had with it), and also a dishwasher. So, I will have my first experience with using one. Also, we have this electronic word processor that I am using! So, there are a lot of nice things about this place.

Church was nice, though I have seen friendlier receptions. It is very different from the Branch life that I am used to. Though, we have a very nice organ at our building (the Stake Center). It automatically plays prelude as well. Tough, being in such a large building means lots of people in the building and it is hard to tell exactly who is in your Ward. So, it will take me some time to learn names and faces.

I am serving with Elder Matthew Slatter from Bountiful, UT (North Canyon 6th Ward, North Canyon Stake). He has been out about 14 1/2 months. He is the District Leader here, so my certification should come easily. He is a very hard worker and he is not big on "wasting time" on eating. He really enjoys tracting, so we are doing quite a bit of it. We are in a car share area, but Elder Slatter prefers bicycles. So, I am sweating a ton riding around in the sun. He also tuned up my disc brakes for me, so they are working a lot better now. Though, I still keep saying, "If I only had a road bike."

I have shipped home a package of stuff as well as a roll of film before being transferred. Please let me know when these items are received.

It was really hard to leave the members in Salem. Being missionaries in a Branch that had been closed for 3 years means the membership really wanted us there. We greatly enjoyed all of their hospitality. It was evident to me that I had made a big impression on quite a few of them (even though, I was only there for 2 transfers). Though, they all made a great impression on me. I hope that I can serve around there again.

For example, Brother Jacobs kept telling us, "I owe you pizza some day." He called the day before transfers asking if he could take us out for pizza. I let him know that I greatly appreciated it but we had a dinner appointment already. He showed up 10 minutes before we left for transfers and said, "How about pizza for breakfast?" We got a little chuckle and he gave me a few bucks for pizza some day. I thanked him. His entire family was wonderful. This is the type of closeness we had there. We also had an apartment with quite a bit of food to boot. I gave my card to quite a few people, so who knows you may hear from some of them someday. Though, I have a lot more people to write and pray for now. It is amazing how the people of such a small place really mean so much. I guess that I really enjoy serving in a Branch. I am not saying that I want to live in one, but I really enjoy serving in them. Probably because I am very much used to Ward life.

Anyways, this letter is really long. Hopefully you enjoyed finding out a little more about my life in this letter. Take care, I miss and love you all so much especially as I reflect upon this past year. It has gone fast, but it does seem like I have quite a bit to go. I wish you all the best. I received Grandma's card today, thank you so much.

Elder Mike Robinson