Saturday, October 3, 2009

Letters to Katie and Diane

To Katie's family:
Hello! How are things going? I am doing just great. I am still psyched about finding Pauly and Merle - you can read about them on the blog. We had an appointment with them today but they weren't there, but I am still excited about them.

That is hilarious that AJ ripped one right in the middle of the ordination. I don't know if I could have kept from laughing. Did the person doing the ordination hear it? I got a letter from Diane and she said she was laughing her head off.

What do you think about Delaney having a text plan? I hope you didn't let yourself get recruited to fight for her. We have a cell phone for each companionship here. We get referrals from church headquarters via text messages on our phones. We can't send texts though, only the AP's can do that. Maybe the ZL's too. I don't really think Delaney needs a text plan though.

Thank you so much for the letters and package. I thought all the cartoons I had seen about missionaries being crazy about mail were hyperboles. I am not so sure now. Elder Marini and I are always so excited to get mail! And when I got to the library on Monday and didn't see an email from home I was devastated. (Luckily it arrived before I left.) Eating candies makes it much easier to stay alert in the morning during personal study, so thank you.

I am getting much better at speaking black and understanding it, but some people have heavier accents than others or talk faster and they are still difficult to understand. There is also a bunch of missionary slang that I am starting to get used to as well.

I'm glad AJ likes preschool. I seem to remember preschool was much more fun than the rest of school though. I am sure you still think of an amazing and original idea for Christmas Eve. I can't wait to find out what everybody makes.

To Diane's family
Hello, how are things going? I am indeed well and enjoying the lovely fall weather. The temperature has been nice - usually in the 70's and sunny, but it is a lot more humid on some days. Yesterday was super humid and muggy. It felt like walking through a cloud. Plus, Elder Marini and I went over to do service for an old lady in our ward who lives with her sister who is a member, and we had to mow her lawn - which was over a foot tall - with a rotary push mower. I am not talking like a push mower with a gasoline engine, we do that all the time, this was an old-style contraption where the pushing makes the blades rotate. The grass was so long we had to go over it again and again, and it would get gummed up with grass every foot or two. It was tough. I won't even start talking about her 2 window air conditioner behemoths we had to move.

Thank you SO much for the letters and package - they contain just about everything I could ask for. Thanks especially for the Nesquick - I haven't had chocolate milk for a month! It's funny how I drink a lot less milk when I have to pay for it, huh? The best part, of course, is the letters. Elder Marini & I always can't wait to check the mail every day.

Congratulations on your elk, Randy! I can't wait to see pictures! I have no idea at all why Diane and my mom don't want magnificent, majestic, beautiful dead animals hanging on their walls. What could possibly look better on the wall? (Except a picture of Christ, the 1st Presidency, the 12, etc.)

Keep on keeping an eye on Delaney for me. This "friend boy", Nick, sounds a wee bit suspicious...

I'm glad some pictures got put on the blog, that is cool. The "armor of god" poster isn't actually mine, that is Elder Waterman's, my district leader. He goes home this transfer. Transfers are this coming Wednesday (today is Friday, Sept. 25th). So I should find out Tuesday if I am staying in Cleveland or going to a new area, if Elder Marini will stay or go, and if I will have a new companion. I am pretty excited to find out. (Note from Patty: Matt and Elder Marini both stayed.)

We have 4 people we are actively in contact with and teaching right now. Tenika, Dorothy, and Pauly & Merle. That doesn't count the less-active members and part member families we are working with. I will try to include a fuller description of everyone we are working with on the blog from now on.

Alyssa, Lauren, and Brynlee, I love the name you have for Randy's elk - Bob! No, I haven't had any baptisms yet, but I am meeting lots of new friends and investigators. Surprisingly enough, I actually have not yet had a door slammed in my face. I will be sure to share the package with Elder Marini. I haven't had any new spiritual experiences that were that exciting, but earlier today my companion and I were teaching a lady about the Book of Mormon and testifying about it and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost and the Spirit was really strong. That is a spiritual experience, even though it isn't anything supernatural or anything. What did you build your fort out of?

Wow, I just looked back at this letter - sorry my handwriting stinks so much. You'll need a urim & thummim to interpret!

Again, thank you for your letters, prayers, packages, & love! They are much appreciated!

Love, Elder Smith