Monday, September 21, 2009

Hello Mom and everyone else,

Whew! I was worried that I wasn't going to get an email today. The only emails I had when I got here were my weekly reports. So sad... So alone... No one loves me... just kidding. I guess now I know how you felt on Labor day when I didn't email until Tuesday, mom. Luckily your email arrived right as I finished writing my weekly letter to President Sorenson.

Good job everyone for their hunting success. How did Macy get the ducks? Did Colton hunt? Did you go, mom? Well done pawning the ducks off on Chris Neu, by the way. Super sneaky! How come I never got promised a quarter for every time I shot? I'd be a rich man!

That is pretty cool that Delaney's orchestra is good. It should be fun to play with Satan. (note from Patty - they will be performing with Michael Ballam at their Christmas concert.) It sounds like there will be some pretty amazing performances.

I was disappointed to hear about the game against FSU. Plus I heard that Utah also lost and Bingham got beat in Dallas. Too bad.

Yes I remember Sis. Bird. It's nice of you and Peyton to do service for her. I guess that's why we have visiting teachers. By the way, home teaching here is way different than at home. These last two Sundays we have gone on home-teaching splits. All it involved was stopping by inactive members' houses and trying to ascertain if they still even lived there. Of the four people on our records that we stopped by, two of them were Catholic, one was "not interested", and I think only one of them even realized that they were a member of the Church. I think there are something like 900 people or so on our ward list (its 21 pages long), and only about 200 come to church.

I think Elder Lambson might be the concert pianist I was telling you about. Elder Anderson was in my MTC district. We would call him Mr. Anderson because he looked a little like Neo from "The Matrix". He always looks like he is plotting murder. Not because he's mean or anything - he is really nice - but his face just seems to be stuck in a perpetual glare of deadly anger.

For conference, I think we will be going to the church to watch, but I am not sure yet.

It's okay that the letters take a while - nothing you can do about it. I still enjoy getting them a ton. Elder Marini and I are always excited to check the mail. We are always so happy when we come home and see the mail truck parked in front of our apartment. Thank you for all the letters that people have sent, they always brighten my day. By the way, thank you for the package Katie & family, it is awesome!

I am sorry to hear you are getting laid off, Lori, but I am sure you will be okay. I hope you find a great job in NY.

As a matter of fact we do have some new prospects. We got a call the other day from Elder Brady, a "Spaniard", or Spanish-speaking elder, to give us a referral for 2 people named Pauly and Merle. I guess Pauly chased Elder Brady down to talk to him. So we met them on Saturday and found out that she had talked to missionaries about fifteen years ago. We talked more and we found out that she has read the whole Book of Mormon. She also said that she had prayed about it and knew that it was true. So we started talking about the Gospel - Faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end - and she said that she wanted to be baptized. Merle didn't seem as interested as her, but he also asked questions and participated. I have a lot of hope for them. We talked about the Word of Wisdom, too, (Yeah, this lesson went all over the place. We had planned on just teaching about the Restoration, but we ended up teaching parts of lessons 1,2,3,and 4, since that was what we felt like we needed to talk about. The Spirit was really strong.) and she smokes, but she said she wants to quit, so I would really appreciate if you guys could pray that she will have the strength to quit smoking, since I am sure that won't be easy for her between the physical addiction and the fiery darts that the adversary (or Michael Ballam) will be throwing at her. Usually we don't even count people on our records unless we have taught them at least twice, but Elder Marini and I are super hopeful about Pauly and Merle. We are still teaching Tenika (I think I talked about her last week), and she seems happy to see us and she reads what we ask her to read, but I am worried that she doesn't have a testimony of the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith yet. We will keep trying and praying with her.

Trevor Haines (Haynes?) (the guy from the funeral) and his wife fed us this week. That was good. I learned that burritos and fajitas are not Mexican food - they are "Texican". Bro. Haines went to Mexico on his mission and he said down there they roll up their tortilla and take a bite of food then a bite of tortilla, and so forth. I guess if you put your food inside your tortilla they laugh at you and call you a gringo. We are still getting fed a lot. I think we have 11 meals lined up for the next week - 8 dinners (one day we are going from dinner at a members house to a ward barbecue that we are going to invite some of the less-active members we are working with to.) plus 3 people who have said they would like to take us out to lunch. I am going to get so fat. I have already gained five pounds, but I am hoping that is because I am working out so much more now.

I'm good, the food's good (and plentiful), it's all good.
Love you!
Elder Smith