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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

Hopefully you are all doing pretty well and the diet is continuing to work. I got to try an interesting beverage this past week. You poor root beer and ice cream in a blender. So, it is kind of a cross between a shake and a root beer float. It was pretty good, though a nice shake would have been better.

Last Monday, we had a District P-day. We went over to a member's house in Ozark (4th Ward) and there we had our own little BBQ. Afterwards, we borrowed some laser tag equipment from that member and played. It was pretty fun, except the guns were too high quality. About 1,000 foot range and high accuracy. So, you pretty much had to aim perfectly unlike most guns. It was fun though.

Our District Leader who already met with us that day, wanted a District Meeting in Ava the next day. So, we drove ourselves to Ava (the last day of the month, we had some extra miles). Then, we went on exchanges and had to find a ride to Sparta the next day. Well, the DL (Elder Miller) called last night and he wants to go on exchanges again this week. This will make the third week in a row that we have exchanges, since we went with the Zone Leader the previous week. So, we will need to get another member to give us a ride.

The exchanges went all right. The night before the District Leader called and said there was a change of plans, "Elder Robinson will be with Elder Kidd in Nixa." Elder Kidd is from Riverside, CA. He has been out about 6 weeks now. So we had an okay time.

It was interesting though that our dinner appointment that night ran late and decided to take us out to dinner instead. They decided to try a new restaurant, the Coyote Grill. Basically it was a sports bar with tables. They had been told by one of their friends that it was more of a "family restaurant." The sister member said, "Hmm.. to some people this might be more family oriented." She, being the Young Women's President, told us not to tell her girls where they took us. The brother member, being the Executive Secretary, didn't really care if we told anyone. Personally, it was a family enough setting and I didn't seem to mind. I enjoyed a pretty big taco salad. However, it did seem that the waitress was a little overly friendly. Refilling our water whenever anyone reached half a glass, and constantly checking on us. I probably wouldn't have noticed those things earlier in life.

In case you haven't received my postcard yet, I will be spending another six weeks in the Springfield 5th Ward with Elder Weeks. So, that is a pretty good thing. Interestingly enough, Elder Ricks got transferred to the 3rd Ward. So, I have gotten caught up with him somewhat. Though we both agreed, when we see each other in about 9 to 10 months in the Mission Home, catching up will be a lot of fun. His blanket that he was crocheting is complete and it looks pretty nice. So, I will see him weekly at District Meeting.

Thank you so much for the family package. Though, if I had been transferred it would have been a while before I had seen it (it came on Friday.) The pictures are wonderful to have. The CD is wonderful to have. I really enjoyed the Old Castle. Perhaps maybe someday you should release a Halloween album. I would be a fan! Though, after playing it awhile, I missed the Boelmann. Anyways, thank you for the wonderful CD, it is truly a great reminder of home. Though as always with music, it is best experienced being there! Great job on the case, mom. I really enjoyed seeing the Tigger strapped to the wood on the side of the organ. It that still there? Though, I do realize those are old pictures.

A few other interesting things about the Mission for you. We have Mansfield, Missouri in our mission. That is the home of the late Laura Ingles Wilder, author of the Little House on the Prairie books. I have driven by the town a few time, just never mentioned it. I believe Garth Brooks has a home in Owasso, Oklahoma and Elder Weeks has seen him out at dinner once. The Lebanon area has an inactive member, who claims to be the sister of "Barbara Ann" whom the Beach Boys sang about. And of course, as I mentioned before, Adam from the Temple video lives in one of the Rogers wards. Hopefully, that keeps you up to date on your OTM trivia.

Now that I have talked about everything else under the sun, it is time to say a few comments about General Conference. I really enjoyed it, but I was a little bit out of practice sitting still for ten hours of my weekend. There were a lot of good talks and I enjoyed the conference. I think that I enjoyed the Saturday sessions the most. First off, it was amusing to see that President Monson started the conference off and was about to turn it over to President Hinckley before having a prayer. The next session he said that the Priesthood session would start at 8 PM. He caught himself and made the appropriate corrections. Though, the BYU game did start at 8 PM in Utah. President Faust seemed to have forgotten to announce the benediction on the final session and got up and tried to say it before the choir began singing. It was just interesting to see that these small errors are not exclusive to Wards and Branches alone.

President Monson made a comment that made me instantly think of Dad, "Little dogs always bark." The comment seemed right on, and Dad can quote a general authority on it now if anyone ever asks. I also enjoyed Elder M. Russel Ballard's comments about how Satan tries to stop the gospel from going forth. He stressed tampering with the nation's peanut butter supply which would bring the missionary effort to it's knees. He also mentioned that his attack didn't come by legislation against Jell-O and casseroles.

President Hinckley's cutting his talk short so people could watch the BYU game was classic too. Though, his reminder to drive safely since the game would not be over for at least two hours was great as well. Sadly, I was not able to watch any of it, though I was excited to hear that BYU won. Even though President Hinckley said, "I am cutting my talk short so that you, not I can watch the BYU game." He did not say, you except for missionaries. So that is implied endorsement from the Prophet there. Plus, our Bishop told us that he wouldn't tell anyone if we stayed. But, because it was only thirty minutes till curfew, I was the only BYU fan out of the four of us (4th and 5th Ward missionaries) that carpooled, and most of them wanted to go to sleep, we left before even watching the kick off. I already know that I am for sure getting an All-Sports-Pass again, once I return. Perhaps, I might even try to get better seats. I miss my Cougar football (after 5 years of Cougar football.) Though, of course that is not the thing that I am missing the most. All in all, I enjoyed conference.

Anyways, I must get going now. I hope Grandpa Al is doing better. As always, let me know if there is anything I can do. I greatly miss and love you all so much. Take care my family!

Elder Mike Robinson