This e-mail contains portions of the letter I wrote to Matt, followed by his answer to the questions I wrote.
Q: How was your week? Did you have your P-day on Monday as usual, with the exception of e-mail, or did you do regular missionary stuff?
A: Our week was awesome and we had some great success. We had P-day on Monday like usual (except for emailing since the libraries were closed), but all we did was sit around at a hospital while Elder O'Neill (one of the Strongsville elders) had hernia surgery. It was pretty boring.
Q: "Did people in Cleveland have the holiday off work?"
A: I don't think so except if they work at a library or post office? I don't know.
Q: "Is it easier to make appointments on holidays like this or harder? What kind of schedules do your investigators even have?
A: "It's about the same easiness. I didn't even realize that Monday was a holiday until Sunday night. I don't think any of our investigators' schedules was affected by the holiday. At least not that we know of.
Q: "Did any of them come to church Sunday?
A: "Yes, Brenda and Tim both came to church, and Brenda brought her 3 kids (with whom she doesn't live).
Q: "Did you speak?"
A: No. Elder Pickett will be speaking this week, though.
Q: "Any progress on baptism dates?"
A: Yes. We re-set Tim's baptismal date for February 20th. He still needs to stop smoking first, though.
Q: "Do you have any new investigators, like Mike?"
A: Yes. In the past week I have been let into 2 peoples' houses while tracting! Crazy! One of them was a family who said "are y'all the Mormons?" and we said yes, and then they told us to come on in, called all the kids together, and told them to listen up because we were going to have a bible study. So we talked to the kids about loving one another and asked them what kind of things they could do to show love to their family...like helping clean up around the house, etc. And then we talked about the restoration of the gospel. I guess the mom had met with missionaries years and years ago.
The other time we got let in was yesterday. I was (actually, I still am) on exchanges with Elder Divett in the Cleveland Spanish area. We were talking about Joseph Smith on her doorstep and she invited us in because it was "cold" outside. (in reality it wasn't - it was at least 30 degrees, and a beautiful day). So we taught her and she told us to come back today, but she wasn't there when we came back.
So what did Cody get for his birthday (other than braces)? I can't believe he is excited for braces... he'll get over it, I'm sure. (Note from Patty: I think Matt missed the sarcasm of my comment about Cody being excited to get braces.) The klondike sounds like it was fun. I'm glad Cody wasn't a whiner. Keep me posted on his eagle project.
With whom did Dad go on his missionary split? The sisters? It's weird to think of us having a convert baptism in our home ward - we live in Utah for heavens' sakes! Have the missionaries been teaching Jim? That is so cool that he wants to get baptized! Who else did they visit other than Jim?
Wow...I've only been gone for 6 months and already the ward is falling apart - Bro. Allred has MS, Warts got put down, Bros. Clawson and Erickson got hurt, you hurt your shoulder. What's next? Don't make me come back there.... (just kidding).
Yes, I got boots. I inherited Elder Wayment's when he left. It's amazing the things you can dig up in old missionary apartments - food that expired in the '90s, old discussion pamphlets, I even got another suit from "leftovers".
Yeah, the weather here has been really mild lately. All the snow is melting and it's even getting up into the 40's. The lake is frozen now, which is pretty cool.
Luckily, our meal calendar got passed around the RS this week, so we have meals again. I got all the stuff I need for fajitas, now I just have to find a time that I can make them. It's also hard because we have to be in and out the door for dinner within one hour, so I have to plan ahead for when I'm going to let the meat thaw and stuff.
That seems weird that the Cali missionaries would have to cook for themselves - I thought the church was a lot stronger there than here.
Congratulations on finishing the Book of Mormon! That's awesome! Don't forget to pray to know that it is true! That's something else I learned recently - even though we may already have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, that doesn't nullify Moroni's promise at all - we are still entitled to have our prayers answered even if we already know it's true. I guess I shouldn't say I learned that recently. Obviously I already knew that, but I just never really had a very strong testimony of it before.
I'm good, the food is plentiful, it's all good!
Love, Elder Smith