Friday, November 6, 2009

Excerpts from letters written to the family this week

10/29 - to the family
It's about 3:15 and we just got home because Elder Marini isn't feeling well. It seems like everyone is getting sick. Hopefully I'm not next in line. Staying home is boring. I hope he gets better soon. Not much to do. Is everyone staying well at home? On the plus side, i got to take a nap and read a lot of the Book of Mormon today. I am in the war chapters in Alma. We read Alma 26 in comp. study this morning. That was good; it has a lot of inspirational and missionary-appropriate scriptures.

9:50 p.m. now. I'm going to bed once I finish writing. We had dinner at the mission office. It was good except for the foul concoction they had for us to drink: wassel. (Not sure how to spell it, but wassel by any other name doth taste as foul.)

Have fun hunting, painting, etc. Good job on having family prayer and scripture study - keep it up. Like Elder Bednar said in his talk at conference, "more diligent and concerned at home", each brushstroke isn't amazing or notable in and of itself, but they make an amazing picture when seen together, so good job at being consistent.

10/28 - to Cody

Elder Marini's full name is Larry Charles Marini, but before his mission he went by "Chas" or "Chaz". He has sisters, but the youngest one is 34 or 38 - old enough to be your mom. So you might have to wait for me to have a different companion - unless you are into older women.
Elder Marini just woke up - his youngest sister is 36. She is married. Maybe one of her daughters is your age, I don't know.

10/28 - to Peyton

I heard you taught family home evening about the proclamation on the family. That is really cool. God job. One of the first tings Elder Marini and I usually teach people is about how much the gospel blesses families. The family proclamation definitely shows that it is true.

No baptisms yet, I'm working on it.

- To Diane's Family

Today is P-day so Elder Marini and I and the Strongsville elders played Euchre all day until about 5:00. Then we had an appointment in the projects. We took Bro. Branch with us. He is a huge black guy who is a security guard and working on becoming a police officer. The Lord promises that He will send angels on our left and on our right, but extra reinforcements are always welcome when walking into drug-dealer town.

Well, hopefully this Swine flu epidemic won't be as bad as hey are projecting. We don't have any special precautions for swine flu that I've heard of. Obviously, after we go to a hospital to give a blessing to someone who is sick, we wash our hands, but I don't even know if we get regular flu shots. It seems like everybody is getting sick - members, investigators and missionaries alike.

The service we do is not usually assigned. Usually people ask us or we ask them if they need anything.

It was getting cold for a while but we've been having a warm spell for the past week or so. It even broke 70 the other day and we could go out in our shirts without coats. I expect the weather will be taking a turn for the worse shortly, though. The trees are looking pretty, though, which is nice.

After a week of having to fend for ourselves for several dinners (which usually means frozen waffles, top ramen, or grilled cheese. We would go for fast food, but it's the end of the month and our funds would start running low.) because of general conference and stake conference which means the meal calendar didn't get passed around priesthood and R.S. meetings, we are again being fed very well.

The work is going well. It was slow for the past couple weeks, but this week we found a lot of promising people who we hope to start teaching. We don't get many member referrals : we are lucky to get one every few weeks. We do a moderate amount of door-knocking - about 3-5 hours a week only. We do a lot of media referral contacting still - giving out Bibles, Books of Mormon, and DVDs and teaching about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And we do a lot of traveling to-and-fro, even though we try to stay in the same general area for long periods of time.

Elder Smith