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