Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Email from 3/16/10


Sorry I think I forgot to remind you that this is transfers week so our P-day/emailing is on Tuesday (today) instead of Monday. On the plus side, we're emailing at a library today so I get a full hour.

Yes, thanks for the box. It arrived at the post office a couple days ago, but I haven't been able to get there to pick it up yet. (they won't leave it at our apartment since it isn't secured entry.) It's tough on bikes. Hopefully we can get it sometime today.

Good job speaking in church! I'm sure it was just fine. The important part isn't what you say, it's what the spirit says to people. I love how you can listen to a great talk and get insights from the spirit that have little or nothing to do with the subject of the talk. Sorry your talk couldn't have been longer, though.

So the weather here has been amazing - bright sunny blue skies and warmth. Even when the weather is bad it is only raining instead of snow.

Sorry I haven't had much time to write letters this week. It is transfers and everything has been kind of hectic. Elder Ehlert is getting transferred, so he has to pack and everything else he needs to do. I am pretty bummed that I only got to serve with him for one transfer - he's a really good missionary and we had a lot of success together (see PMG ch. 1 for what success is). He has probably been my best companion so far, so I am pretty sad to see him go. He is really diligent and obedient, which is nice and will be a great blessing to his future companions, investigators, and himself.

Elder Farmer is also getting transferred, unfortunately, as well as Elder Talbot (he is "shotgun training" - getting shotgunned into an area with a greenie). I am really going to miss serving around both of them. This is definitely the mightiest district I've served in so far, but now everybody is leaving except for me and Elder Robison (Elder Farmer's companion). I'm not going to have anybody with whom to talk about ridiculously deep doctrine anymore, either.

I am staying in this area, so that makes things a little simpler for me. President Sorensen told me my new companion is going to be a "Spaniard" - a missionary who was called Spanish-speaking. I had to dig up my Spanish PMG and BOM. We'll try to find some Spanish-speaking investigators or formers who we can teach together to help him get some practice for when he actually has to speak Spanish all the time. I am pretty excited to be able to study Spanish every day and hopefully improve a lot and get almost back to the level I used to be at. I've lost a lot of the more technical grammar, but I think my pronunciation is still pretty good (or bad, depending on how you think of it - the native speakers I talk to all say I talk like a Mexican, and I don't really like listening to Mexican Spanish compared to other accents). One challenge will be learning all the gospel-specific terms that I never really worried about before.

As for the work in this area, we haven't seen much progress with the investigators we already had, but we have been blessed with a little more success in finding new investigators, especially the other day as we followed a prompting of where to go and tract. We were able to find someone who Elder Ehlert and Elder Head (his trainer) had talked to at the beginning of last transfer, but who had fallen through the cracks somehow and they hadn't visited again. She had been reading the Book of Mormon and she said she had a page and a half of questions about it in her notebook. I am excited for our return appointment with her.

You asked if I had stayed healthy over the winter. That depends - is winter over yet? I got strep throat a couple days ago, but Dr. Aldous (the full-time senior missionary health representative over our mission and the others in the northwest area) prescribed some amoxicillin for me and I'm getting better. It was pretty cool how fast it worked. I called Sis. Sorensen, she said to call Dr. Aldous, so I did, he called the pharmacy up the street, and I walked in and picked up the prescription - interestingly, It was free, they didn't ask for ID, and I never had to see a doctor or take a strep test. I had thought it would be a lot more complicated and time-consuming than that.

It was steaks and shakes, Cody. Steakburgers and shakes. I don't think we have Steak n' Shake in Utah, but it's really good, so we should. Maybe you could start one with the money you're earning from the egg business.

I've been receiving letters sent to the apartment's address, but I double checked and it's just 3309 Arlington Ave, not 3309 S. Arlington Ave. Maybe that was the problem.

Could you please look a few things up for me and email them? Not having much internet access is tough sometimes.

1. A story about a man commanded by God to push a rock. He gets discouraged that the rock doesn't move, but then is reminded that he was commanded to push the rock, not move the rock, and that he has grown from his labor.

2. A poem about gratitude and attitude that goes something along the lines of ...some murmur if one cloud mars thier perfect day...some are grateful if but one streak of light breaks through the clouds...

3. A talk from a general conference in 1990 - april, I think, about what it means to endure to the end.

Sorry. I know those aren't very specific descriptions and you may not be able to find them (well, I'm pretty sure you can find the conference talk), but just do your best.

Love You!!!!

Elder Matthew Smith