Talking to you guys was so much fun! I'm glad everybody is doing so well!
So do you guys know where Bo and Penny went swimming? How did they escape the inpenetrable fortifications of our back yard? Did the one chicken that thinks it's a dog go with them? What is the chicken's name?
Good luck at your orchestra concert, Delaney. What kind of song are you playing? If you're gonna play in concert, do you gotta have a fiddle in the stand? So I was thinking the other day of the 'devil went down to Georgia' song and decided to make an Ohio Cleveland Mission version of it. Here's what I've got so far:
Well the devil went down to Cleveland, he was lookin' for some souls to steal
He was in a bind, he was way behind, it was the time of the seventh seal
When he came upon two elders, they were preachin' out' the Book
So the devil jumped up on a Rapid stop and he said "hey elders, look"
I guess you didn't know it, boys, but I'm a preacher, too,
And if you'd care to look around, you'll see I've got more churches than you
Well you do pretty good preachin' boys, but give the devil his due
I'd bet LeBron against Brother John, to say I'm better'n you
Well them elders had the Spirit and it told them to be bold,
So they said "devil listen here, your rantin' is gettin' old
So elders go dust off your Preach, you'd better study hard
'Cuz Hell's broke loose in Cleveland and the Devil deals the cards
And if you win you get to go and baptize LeBron
But if you lose, the devil gets Brother John!
Well the devil opened up his Word and said "I'll start this meet"
And fire consumed the river as the audience took their seats
Satan turned his hat 'round backwards and a demon layed down a beat
And the devil dropped the lyrics and the audience shook from head to feet
And he rapped:
Well, that's all I've got so far. I don't know what the devil is going to rap yet, but it'll probably have something to do with eat drink and be merry or a similar concept. Rapid stops are train stations. The Cuyahoga river is supposedly the only river ever to catch fire. Send me any lyrical ideas you have!
As for what to send me, I would say 2 pair of black shoes probably (I checked and they are 9 1/2), I don't need gym shorts anymore (found some leftovers at an apartment), but I'd still like my camoflouge shorts. I don't think I need any more slacks. The slacks I have are getting pretty worn and torn, but nothing I can't fix, I think.
Smash Burgers sounds pretty great - it actually sounds kind of like Steak 'n Shake. I still have yet to find the milkshake that can measure up to a Fudd's shake, though. But their steakburgers are pretty good.
Per your question of "are you saving the talks you prepare for future use?" - I guess so. All my notes are just written down in notebooks, and I'm saving the notebooks with notes from meetings and interviews and studies (I've gone through a couple of notebooks already). Usually the talks I write end up being WAY different when I give them than they were when I wrote them down, since they are very interactive and I like to just improv what direction to take based on how people answer questions and what kind of experiences they share and what insights they tell us about and stuff. It's kind of weird to me, but I have found that I REALLY like the sound of my voice. I just love to talk! In companion study we have to practice cutting each other off and yielding to each other so I don't just talk for a whole appointment.
Love you most no battle!!
Love, Elder Matthew Smith
ps I'll send the sd card home once I take a picture of Sis. Bennett for you guys. Have I only sent it home one other time?
There is 1 zone in Toledo and 3 districts. Matt is a District Leader. (He didn't think that was important so he never mentioned it before.)
Their church is about 2 miles away from their apartment, and they usually get a ride with the other elders in their ward that have a car.
There are "like a million churches" in Toledo. It's like Utah with one on every corner, only they are all different kinds of churches. One had a talk about Mormons, the pastor let a Mormon give the talk, and then encouraged people to let the missionaries in.
There is no Jamba Juice in Toledo, but he heard there was one on the Bowling Green campus. The missionaries there are sisters I believe he said.
He hasn't met any Amish people.
He thought Cody's voice sounded really low.
He loved a dessert that was made for him (on his birthday, but they didn't know it was his birthday and he didn't tell them). It was a strawberry roll. He said it was cake stuff that was in an oblong shape, with lots of whipped cream and strawberries on it, and then the sister rolled it up and cut it. I bet he wouldn't have even tried something like that before his mission.
As he said in his email - he loves giving talks. He is going to speak at a Zone Training meeting on Tuesday. Who would've thought they'd have to practice getting Matt to be quiet so that his companion would be able to speak.
Also, his current companion has a 13-year-old sister. Cody was interested in that! He even sent Cody her name and address in a separate email today.
Their investigators are amazing. They are talking temple with the inactive family that has been coming to church. They also committed Debbie to baptism. She is from Michigan? and their not sure how far she is driving each time they have an appointment with her. She drives to her friend's house in Toledo where they teach her. They are not sure who will baptize her or where. Even though she's committed, they haven't set a date and she's still praying about things.
It was so awesome to talk to him yesterday! We talked about 1 hour and 15 minutes. His poor companion's family had to wait until we were done, so they had to wait like 15 minutes after the time he was supposed to call because we were so gabby. You know Matt-talk,talk,talk. We have now received 1/2 of the phone calls from him during his mission and he said he's watched 1/2 of the general conferences during his mission. Seems like time is flying. He said it feels just like last month that he got off the plane in Cleveland, and just last week that he got to Toledo. I think that's a good thing! We feel lucky that he's had good companions. We asked him if that was because they were so good, or because he has a good attitude. He said probably some of both. He has realized that his first companion may not have been as good as he thought at the time now that he's had others to compare. Merrill says the good thing about being the District Leader is that you are the one who determines how things happen. We know that Matt is a hard worker with a lot of faith - so things are great!