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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

Well it definitely has been an interesting week. We had 10 tracting finds (most of which have dropped us) and 64 hours of proselyting. So, we are busy but there were a lot interesting things as well.

First off, I forgot to mention in the last letter about interviews with President. Since he got here, President Nielson has been stressing that you need to be at least 20 minutes early to meetings. Consequently, meetings have been starting early since everyone is there. This is not to say our mission had a problem being on time before, but it is just President Nielson. So, we showed up 20 minutes early and our District just started District meeting. The Zone Leaders showed up 2 minutes after the meeting was supposed to start, but since they had to ride up from Branson that is somewhat understandable. President Nielson comes walking in 15 minutes after the meeting was supposed to start. He told us that he had planned and arrived early at the other building in Springfield. He sat around wondering why no one was showing up, until it dawned on him. It was an interesting moment, though he stressed that the important part was he had planned ahead and left early.

Now on to this past week. Elder Slatter and I were biking by a bank on Saturday. The bank alarm is blaring, so we biked by to our appointment. We passed by the bank again five minutes later, alarm still blaring and no cops or bank employees in sight. This would have not been so funny, but the bank was immediately across the street from the police station (go figure.)

Also interesting was Elder Slatter and I were going to lunch at Subway in Springfield. As we are parking the car, we notice a mailman pulling out of a parking space on his riding lawn mower. It was quite a funny sight, though he was pretty close to the post office. Dad can ask Ralphetta where her lawn mower is parked (joke). Though, it is said that mowers are ridden quite frequently out here. Especially at night, since you can go to a bar and drive a mower home and not get a DUI (since it is not a motor vehicle), but I don't know how much of that is rumor.

Also really interesting were some people we tracted into. They expressed a little interest and we had just run out of Book of Mormons. When we returned a little later that afternoon to give them one, they had spent a lot of time on anti-Mormon web sites and they wanted answers. The funniest one was "Mormons believe that large families are essential to go to heaven." Elder Slatter explained how he was from a family of three children. I said that I was an only child, and asked if they would explain why my mother would have stopped if she believed such things. Their explanation, your mother must have been "fixed". So, I just wanted to inform you mom and dad, that you won't be going to heaven, you don't have enough kids.

You really wonder where some of this anti-Mormon stuff comes from. They also kept telling us what was in the Book of Mormon, to which we gave them one and pointed to the index and said find that, because I sure haven't. We kept telling them they needed to read and pray. They said we were being manipulative. Though, I don't see how asking someone to pray on their own time is manipulative. When we told them that is something was not a doctrine of our Church. I mentioned I had been a member over 10 years, but they still said I wouldn't know yet. They also told us that every young man was required to serve a mission and that a woman could only make it to heaven through her husband. We left them with copies of the Book of Mormon, but I doubt they will find any interest in it (other than comparing it with anti-Mormon sites). We left them with the Church website. That was an interesting day.

I received my new bicycle helmet. It is much better than the one that came with my bicycle. It keeps my head much cooler while riding. I really think it was money well spent. Also, I have been making minor adjustments and improving my bike. I traded for a more flat bicycle stem, adjusted the seat height for efficiency, made a chain stay guard, patched a slow leak in my tube, etc. Plus Elder Slatter showed me how to position my feet on the pedals better. So, my biking is getting better (though, the Liahona weighs much more than other missionary bikes.)

I checked with Wal-Mart here, and there is no wallet even remotely similar to the one I have. There isn't a shoe repair place in my area (and probably not in my District), so I will be sending that shoe home sometime soon to be repaired. There just isn't too much in Nixa, since everyone goes to Springfield, and we don't cover too much of Springfield.

I hope that the tour of the Redlands Temple went well. Let me know how it was. I wish I could be there to see it. You thought sharing testimony with you would be good. Well, it will probably have to wait until I have more time. Thank you for forwarding the letter from Sister Abney. I miss you all so very much, but wish you the best. Take care. Thanks for all your support.

Elder Mike Robinson