Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Email from 4/27/10

Hi, how is everybody?

My week was good. Neither me nor Elder Gullerud is being transferred. That's good. Elder Robison is leaving, though - that's not good.

Good job Cody on your eagle project. Make sure not to take 9 months doing the papers. Good job everyone else on all your sports stuff.

Jim's baptism sounds like it was really cool. 60 people at the baptism isn't too shabby either! How many of them were nonmembers?

Nope, I've never noticed seeing Tony Packo's. I'll watch out for it.

That's funny about being sisters and sisters-in-law both. Tell Sis. Argyle congrats for me!

Hey, you guys should get Zorro shoed so Delaney can ride him. You should also tell Zorro to not take any crap from Candy.

One of our investigators' brother-in-law is getting baptized on Saturday (he's in the 2nd ward). That should be a good teaching tool for her. Sis. Scott came to church Sunday.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, April 19, 2010

Email from 4/19/2010


My birthday was great, thanks! Thank you everyone for the packages, letters, and cards! No, there aren't really any mission or ohio birthday traditions that I've heard about.

Happy anniversary again! That's pretty cool that you got to go to Ruth's Chris! Was it good? What did you eat? Steak, I hope... Have fun at the Jazz game and Eagle project. Is the Eagle project almost done?

You drew your Bookcliffs elk tag!?!?!? Wow!!! That's so cool! You must be so excited to finally have all that anxious, patient waiting paying off for you! You're going to have a blast! I'll bet you get the biggest elk of anybody on the mountain (how will all the other hunters feel about getting out-hunted by a woman, I wonder?). What are your criteria for an elk? 6 point? 320? Bigger than dad's? Bigger than dad's spike, whose antlers fit in his fannypack? When is the hunt?

Dad got a star wars video? I thought we already had them all... Is that supposed to be a joke or something? I don't get it.

That's so cool that Jim's getting baptized! I'll bet that is really energizing the ward - probably a great opportunity to help people get more missionary-minded. Why is there a volcanic ash cloud over northern europe? (I don't watch the news, remember). I'm glad to hear Jason's back in the MTC. That's exciting. Per Delaney's question, yes, we roleplay just about every day. During Companion Study we plan what lessons we are going to teach people and then practice teaching them those lessons. Also, we usually roleplay in weekly district meetings after the talks and stuff. Sometimes we roleplay at once-per-transfer zone conferences as well. We roleplay a lot. No, we have not been asked to teach the YM or YW lesson. We did do a musical number in primary once, though.

Poor Max, having to stay outside while you mean people wouldn't let him in. That's cool that we got even MORE chickens...how many do we have now? How many eggs do we get per day? It is weird having to buy eggs here - and they don't taste as good as CFR eggs either. Does CFR have some kind of mail-order catalog that I could order from? How does Zorro get along with Candy and Lady? Where does he fit in the pecking order? I kind of was hoping that he would boss Candy around, just because it would do her good.

This week Bro. Scott came to church again - and this time Sis. Scott came, too! That is the first time I've seen her at church. I was so excited when she said she had got work off on Sunday so she could come to church! (She's in her sixties and she usually works fifteen or more hours each on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! Wow!) None of our investigators came to church this week, nor are they progressing. You can pray for the Scotts that they will continue to be able to come to church and for Leanne (investigator) - she flamed us at an appointment a couple days ago and we've been unable to reach her since. She has a sister who goes to the 2nd ward and her mom goes to the Perrysburg ward. Also, please pray for Ashley - the other elders in our ward are teaching her. She is an investigator, and her husband is a member who hasn't been active for years, but has been coming recently. Ashley wants to get baptized, but her family is very unsupportive and is holding her back.

Yes, it is almost transfer time again. Transfers are next Wednesday, the 28th. My next email will probably be on Tuesday, not Monday. You should probably start sending mail to the mission office at:

Elder Matthew Smith
2070 W. 117th St.
Cleveland, Ohio 44111

just in case I get transferred so mail doesn't end up coming to this apartment after I leave. No I haven't heard of that restaurant, but I would love to get the name of it so we could check it out. Per your question about how many areas there are in Toledo: Basically there are four, but of course there are more areas that are kind of in different cities and stuff. The four 'main' areas are: Southland (that is us - of course my area is the most important...it always is! The Southland area covers downtown Toledo and a little more. It is relatively small, but kind of big for a walking area.), Holland (our 'sister area' - the other elders in our ward, who have a car. they have everything west and south of us. their area is probably 3 times as big as ours), Point Place (which is to the North of us and also has a bit of Toledo's 'hood' in it. It is probably about the same size as Holland. They are in the Toledo 2nd ward), and Sylvania (North of us and West of Point Place. They are in the 2nd ward as well and about the same size as the other areas. Sylvania is also the zone leaders of Toledo) Besides that, you have missionaries in Perrysburg, which is just across the river from Toledo, Defiance and Wauseon, which are HUGE areas on the western border of the mission, and two sisters' areas at BGSU - Bowling Green State University - one walking and one driving. That's pretty much everybody in the Toledo Zone except for the ones that I forgot. To answer your question more succinctly (spelling?) : there are 8 missionaries actually in Toledo and probably 8-10 more in the outlying areas.
Yeah, Cody, it's frustrating when those "idgets" don't know what's going on. It makes volleyball a bit less fun when you put up a beautiful set right at the net and the next person bumps it over...guess what we did last P-day...

I love you guys!!! Family, friends, extended family, and everybody!

The church is true, the book is blue, and God loves you! (I'll see you in 2)

Read your scriptures, have family prayer, and go to the temple often!!!

Love, Elder Matthew Smith

p.s. guess where we didn't email today...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Email from 4/12/10

Hello! My week was wonderful, thank you for asking. We had zone conference on Tuesday, which is always a delightfully spiritual experience. Yes there are some new investigators - member referrals (the best kind)! I'll tell you about them next week when we've taught them more than just once, though.

Oh, I think I failed to mention in my last email that Tim (from Cleveland) finally quit smoking and got baptized a couple weeks ago! Thanks so much everybody who joined with me and many others in praying for him! I know that our prayers are heard and that they are answered - sometimes with miracles!

Yes it definitely is sad for people to be offended or lose interest or whatever to make them stop coming. And it seems like not long after that they generally stop reading the scriptures as well. It's good to know that they can always come back, though.

Sounds like the eagle project is coming along well. Do we have a date by which it is supposed to be completed? Good job at baseball.

I like Zorro for the horse's name. I can't wait to meet him. Zorro might even be better than Habakkuk.

Thanks for doing my taxes, dad. That price sounds reasonable. How much was my refund?(Note: the price is that Merrill gets to hold their babies when they have them.)

Way to go with blowing your goals out of the water at Disneyland! Sorry you beat your goals by so much, Cody. I'm proud of you for giving the $2 back, Peyton. That's really cool.

Sounds like y'all had a darn tootin' good time with them there farm animals. Hooo-eeee! I'm glad Rocky liked our dogs. How big is he now?

Thanks, I'm sure it'll be a great Thursday. I keep forgetting it's my birthday. The Sacks are feeding us on Thursday and last time Sis. Sacks made Cafe Rio salad and mint brownies. I'm pretty excited for dinner.

So what did you guys think of conference? (I assume you've watched or read it by now) Was priesthood session amazing or what?

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Love you!
Elder Matthew Smith

Monday, April 5, 2010

Email from 4/5/2010

Hello! Happy Easter!

I had a wonderful week and conference was phenomenal, of course. I wish I had payed more attention to it before I was a missionary, because I have been getting way more out of it out here. Or maybe the church is just trueer in Ohio or something? Probably not. But seriously, pondering prayerfully prepared questions while watching conference makes it so much more meaningful! I've been looking forward to this for 6 months, and it was all I ever dreamed it would be! I can't wait until the next conference now! I never really caught the vision of how great the 'rising generation' is before, but as I listened to the speakers at conference talking about it, I thought about Cody and Delaney and Peyton and how valiant and powerful they really are. Cody, you're going to be the best missionary ever, especially with the new Duty to God handbook! Do it. Also, the overriding theme of the conference seemed to me to be family, with a special emphasis on parenting. I know I've borne my testimony to you of this before, Mom and Dad, but you really are doing a great job and I can't state enough how much I appreciate you and respect you. Thanks for always letting us know that you love us and for teaching us the gospel at home - where it's most important. Excepting the Savior himself, you have been the most powerful example of righteous living in my life. Thanks for leading by both word and example.

No, we didn't have any investigators at conference, and I didn't notice Bro. Neu in the choir, although I looked, but Bro. Scott, a less-active member who has come to church for 3 weeks straight now, came to all five sessions and enjoyed them. He commented about how coming to church and watching conference is helping him remember the things he had forgotten from years of not coming to church. Cool experience with him: we showed up at his house last night for a visit, and he was driving by in his truck looking for his dog, which had dug out of the yard. We decided the dog was 'stuck in the mire', so to speak, so we decided to help also. After praying that we could find the dog and still have time to teach Bro. Scott, the Spirit prompted us which way to go (although Bro. Scott had already checked that area), and sure enough, there was the dog a couple blocks away.

Denee and Mike have both flamed us a couple times, so we're dropping them for a while. Yes, we have a couple new prospects. Things are going well with Elder Gullerud. As far as we know, he will be my 'permanent' companion until the transfer, but who knows? He didn't even know he was getting 'midnighted' until the day before. Yes, I am the senior companion, and have been ever since I was greenie-breaking Elder Ehlert. (greenie breaker is the 2nd companion you have. thus, Elder Pickett was my 'greenie-breaker'). Yes, you have no idea how hard it is for me to believe my mission is a third of the way over. I didn't even realize that until just now (thanks a lot). I feel like I got out of the plane in Cleveland a week ago.

I'm glad Disneyland was so much fun. It sounds like you guys really wore yourselves out. It's funny to me that Peyton would actually like Space Mountain and Tower of Terror. I'm worried I'm hardly going to recognize you guys when I get back (not you, Mom and Dad, you probably won't change, just Delaney, Cody, and Peyton).

I have absolutely no idea why ANYONE would think that the rides are scarier with me there and I have no idea what you are trying to insinuate.

Is Medieval Times in Anaheim or Las Vegas? Is it the jousting show thing? That's pretty cool that you got to feel the earthquake.

I'm glad that we finally have another horse. Hopefully it is more like Candy and less like Lady. You should name it something scriptural, like Alma...or Habbakuk.

Yes, please to be providing pictures...and SD card.What did the 'sweet kitty' think about Rocky? It's so exciting that everyone seems to be getting new animals.

Have fun at orchestra tour, Delaney...and on the bus ride there and back...how long does it take to get there?

Don't worry, Mom, I'm pretty sure I've never 'blamed' you before for anything I received for a birthday. Sorry I was a slothful and not a wise servant and didn't give ideas. More short-sleeve shirts would be greatly appreciated. Also, can you guys send my camo shorts and a pair of plaid shorts that I left home? - now that it's warm I need some warm-weather P-day clothing. Also, if you can find some good running socks, like the smart-wool ones I used to like to run with, that would be good too - mine all have holes worn through them and I can't find any good stuff at wal-mart and haven't time to look anywhere else. Anything else? Candy, of course. Maybe more gym shorts. I may want new shoes soon, but hold off on that for now. Does Mr. Mac have a 2 yr guarantee or exchange deal or something?

Yes, you did mention that Grandma Smith gave me money for Christmas/Valentines day. Yes, I wrote to her last week.

(can you tell we emailed at a library today?)


Elder Matthew Smith