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Excerpts from Mike's Letter Home:


Dear Family,

Hopefully all is well. Things are going really well here. The Raleigh family has committed themselves to baptism. It was kind of interesting actually. We came to the Ward's Trunk-or-Treat celebration. Their 8 year-old daughter dressed up as an angel and carried a little folder marked "Book of Mormon" and on the inside "Choose the Right". Their younger daughter (almost 2) was dressed in a bee costume. The younger one didn't take too well to wandering around many people dressed up in costume. However, she seemed happy to see Elder Weeks and I, both in our usual missionary attire (Elder Weeks had on a glow in the dark skeleton tie). She even recognized us.

Anyways, as we showed up the father said, "We need you to setup the rest of the discussions with our daughter (Pause) and with us." The pause made us intrigued, and the fact that the parents both had all the discussions already. However, since they normally sit in on the discussions with their daughter, we were not sure exactly what he meant. But we knew it sounding promising. Later that night, one of the family's member friends asked us, "Have you heard about their decision?" So, we responded yes since we figured out exactly what had been meant. Either way, it was a happy moment and the family asked for Elder Slatter's address, so they could inform him.

It was fun going to the Trunk-or-Treat. Some of the Ward members got all dressed up nicely in costume. We had a pirate, cat woman, the penguin, witches, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, and many more. It was great seeing them all and a few took a lot of thought to recognize. However, I really liked one costume idea. One member just put on a yellow shirt with a few black zigzags. It was extremely simple, low effort, yet you knew he was supposed to be Charlie Brown. We got one family's left over candy as well, which was nice since we didn't go Trunk-or-Treating. It seemed like everyone had a great evening. It was also Elder Week's 21st birthday, so we went out with two families to dinner. So, Wednesday the 29th was pretty awesome.

On Halloween, we had our interviews with President Nielsen. It had been about three months since my last interview, so I was greatly looking forward to it. I feel like my probability of being transferred is really high, but I felt that already. One great part of the District Meeting was the fact that I got to play a hostile investigator in one of our play acting situations. It was nice, because they picked me because of my past performances as a regular investigator. Though, this was an example of what not do this time. The missionary opposite me said it was much easier this time because he was allowed to bash, make fun of, or anything else to come back at me. Sister Nielsen walked in on us doing this and asked, "Wow, is that how it really is around here?" We told her that this type of people talked to briefly at the door and wouldn't let you in, which is where the scenario took place. It was fun though.

Also interesting was the fact that we received the new Church Christmas movie that day, "Joy to the World". We were instructed to go watch it. We called a member family up and told them of our strange request to watch a Christmas movie on Halloween, and they helped us out.

Halloween wasn't the fun exciting evening I had hoped for, though I guess that will have to wait until after the mission. Anyways, we called our dinner appointment and I got a call from Elder Sorenson (he was a companion I liked who lives in Long Beach and I am sure I will see him when I return home). It was great to hear from him and all that is going on in his life. Hopefully you got better acquainted with him, he is someone that has seen me more recently than you. Hopefully, I will get to experience another fun Halloween at home sometime.

Also of interest was the Ward Welfare meeting on Sunday morning. We were reporting on the our family who has committed status and told the Bishop that they were asking how soon after their interview could they be baptized. General policy for missionaries is about a week, but with transfers and their excitement, we did not set a date with them. We simply stated that we would ask the Bishop about it. The Bishop's response in PEC, "Well they would have to wait about 5 minutes minimum." It was nice to hear the Bishop supportive of them.

I told the PEC about the probability of my leaving before it, to which they said, "Get us the Mission President's number, we want you and Elder Weeks. In fact, let's ask if Elder Weeks can extend for a year."" The High Priest Group Leader asked Elder Weeks, "Got a girl back home?" Elder Weeks said, "Not any more." Then came, "Well, that won't be an issue then and the potatoes can wait." Which gave both Elder Weeks and I a good chuckle, but we didn't give out the number since we both know that doesn't really change anything. However my bearing of my testimony, giving the closing prayer in Sacrament Meeting, and teach the Gospel Principles class caused another member to suspect that I was moving soon. It is sad, I really love it hear. Plus, I am getting tired of all the packing and just want a six month area that so many missionaries talk about.

Dad's letters are getting pretty interesting with all the tech toys that are coming in. E-bay truly is a great thing. I hope to get more involved with it upon my return. Though, I do have to warn you that I have had two years without any of these things and lots of time to think about them. I am going to have a pretty big list of "wants" when I get home. So, with Dad being retired you are really going to have to budget that in. Though, all of the toys do seem great. Hopefully dad found a way to do the things he wants to with his tuner. That sounds like a fun toy, and I might have to use it a few times too. But I can take one of the Korg one's with me to college. Hopefully mom learns to enjoy her new camera as well.

Thank you for also mentioning the fires in you latest letter. A lot of members were asking me if you were alright. I of course responded, "We have a big fire or two every five or ten years, it is nothing new." Now that I have some more details, I can tell them more. However, I was pretty sure that they were nowhere near home, otherwise you would have mentioned them sooner. I am glad to hear however that you are safe. You might take a picture of the bright orange and smoke filled sky for me. Anyways, stay safe. If you have to evacuate, take the computer (just joking).

I also hope that mom and grandma enjoy their trip to Ireland. That should be a fun little trip. I look forward to some postcards (and not just cereal boxes). Also, thank you mom for getting me Rebecca's address.

Also, good luck dad on registering me for my housing. Thanks you for doing that for me. Thank you mom for instructing dad. Housing is a big part of college life, as you know. I doubt that I will change to the new "Scouting Education" major. Perhaps it's the management positions starting at $32,000 part. Having worked for the Boy Scouts, I know there is not a lot of working your way up.

Thank you for the continued support. You are all so awesome and I wish you the very best! Take care, enjoy your journeys. Hopefully Squirt is doing better.

Elder Mike Robinson