Tuesday, September 8, 2009

E-mail September 8, 2009


Sorry I couldn't email yesterday, but we had a huge thing called "Zoned Out" which the mission does once a year where half of the mission (3 zones + Kirtland sisters = about 70 missionaries) goes to the Johnson Farm to have a short devotional and then a big field day. The zones competed against each other in an obstacle course type thing, and then we played dodgeball, softball, football, volleyball, basketball, etc. After Zoned Out, Elder Marini and I and the Parma Elders, Elders Carter and Leake (did I mention that Elder Carter's personality and behavior are almost exactly like Elder Nestman? Except I found out today at ZDM (Zone Development Meeting) that he is a hunter...Can you imagine Elder Nestman being a hunter? I was way surprised because I just could not imagine someone with that kind of personality being a hunter.)

We went to a less active member's house for dinner and were fed barbecue ribs and brownies. They were really good. We gave him a blessing because he is having an operation this week. So thats why the email is late. No, Mom, I haven't died, I am not terminally ill and incapacitated, nor have I been shot.

Please delete the pictures on the SD card before sending it back so there will be room on it for more pictures, but you can take your time because the camera's batteries ran out and I just recently had the chance to go get new ones. Besides, I don't carry my camera with me very many places and don't take many pictures anyways.

Tell David I'm sorry I couldn't come back, but I was too busy trying to find LeBron. I haven't even seen him yet except for a HUGE poster that covers the whole side of a building downtown. I'll get a picture next time we go to the downtown area. However, we did eat dinner Sunday with a family in the neighborhood right nearby where the Cavs practice.

I'm sure your relief society lesson was great, you are just being pessimistic. The Lord does answer prayers, but sometimes the answer is "no". (Of course, for me, sometimes the answer is "no, moron".) I like how you said that we need to meditate and contemplate (ponder) what we are praying about, and listen to the Spirit to give us answers. Sometimes we receive answers to our prayers right then while we are on our knees, and sometimes the answer will come from the Spirit as we prayerfully study the scriptures and the words of the prophets, and sometimes they will come in entirely different ways. Also, when we ask, we can receive instructions from the Spirit about what we should be praying about. There was a really great workshop today in ZDM about Lehi's dream and Alma 5 where it says to look forward with an eye of faith. The Elder giving the workshop invited us to ponder what our "tree of life" is that we are working towards, and what our vision of what we wanted to become was. I wondered if what I want to become is different from what the Lord wants me to become. That is why we should listen to the Spirit tell us what to pray about: because, like the Lord taught us in the Lord's Prayer "THY will be done", prayer is a way that we bring our will into line with our Father's will, not the other way around.

Good for Delaney, for bearing her testimony! What does Bro. VanWagoner's face look like under his beard?

What elders' mom's are you talking to that serve in the Ohio Cleveland Mission? What do they think of the grocery stores? We have some Giant Eagle stores nearby, but we only shop at Walmart because it is so much cheaper. Unfortunately, there is no Walmart nearby, so Strongsville (Elders Waterman and Brown) have to drive us there to shop on P-days. Our whole district always gets together on P-days, I guess, so that is pretty cool. I am getting kind of hooked on Speedway's slurpies. They are addictively delicious.

That is funny that Delaney needed help to use the supercalculator as a normal calculator. Does she have tons of homework all the time? Does she stress out about it a bunch? Wait...Delaney is in HIGH SCHOOL? Holy Holiness! How does she like it? Does she have a boyfriend yet? Diane is supposed to be keeping an eye on her for me. Does she walk to school? Has Riverton majorly lost to Bingham in any sports yet?

Hahaha Bo is so fat. You should see the cat that lives with the members that Strongsville lives with. He is HUGENORMOUS! His name is Mr. T (for Tank). I will get a picture for you. He is way fatter than Marshmallow, and he snores.

I prefer cookies to not have nuts, but if they do that is okay, they are still good.

Cody: did I already tell you that Elder Marini is a huge baseball nut? Plus he likes Chris LeDoux, Garth Brooks, and the other good country singers. You would like him a lot.

Your prayers are much appreciated. It always makes me feel good to know that there are so many people praying for me: me, my companion, my missionary leaders, my mission president, my family, thousands of people in the temples, and maybe even a general authority or two. Put it all together and that is a LOT of faith. I don't know if it is too much hassle for you if I ask you to pray for specific investigators, but if anyone would like to pray for investigators by name, you can pray for Tenika, Mark, Jim, Fred, and Jose.

Did Diane share with you the letter that I sent her? I asked her to, so if she didn't, you should pester her. I was actually kind of worried, because I think I may have accidentally written our home address on her letter instead of her address. If you get a letter that says "Dear Diane", you should probably show it to her also.

Do you know if Josh Rueckert is going to be able to go back to his mission any time soon or if he has already left? Isn't Nate leaving next month? You should tell him (or his mom) that he should volunteer as an "investigator" at the TRC (teaching resource center) at the MTC.

Well, I have to go. Got to be about my Father's work and all that.

Elder Smith